Every year, millions of Americans find themselves in something of a panic as tax time approaches, because a lot of people tend to wait until the last minute to do all their preparations. However, in that rush to get everything done as quickly as possible, they may also often make mistakes on these vital documents, and that could end up having a dramatic impact on their filing status.
Fortunately, consumers are able to file amended tax documents with the Internal Revenue Service to make up for any issues over which they have later grown concerned, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal. However, the ways in which such taxpayers should go about this process will differ significantly based on the ways in which they made their mistakes in the first place. These can be everything from a failure to carry the one when doing some simple arithmetic, or an honest omission of something which should have been claimed.
For instance, if consumers received documents from financial institutions saying dividend incomes were greater (or less) than they expected, that might entitle them to a larger refund, or increase their liability, the report said. Often, this difference is just a few dollars, and consumers therefore ignore it, but that shouldn't be the case. Moreover, if the difference is much larger, that can have an even greater impact, obviously.
How long does it take?
Regardless of the reasons for filing, in most cases it may take as many as 12 weeks for the IRS to make changes, and the agency recommends that this should actually be done after receiving the refund, the report said. On the other hand, those who find out they owe more than they thought should make sure to file as quickly as possible to avoid any potential interest and fines that might accrue as a result.
Overall, consumers should try to do all they can to make sure they're getting their tax preparation done well in advance of the filing deadline to ensure they're not going to run into any of these errors. Working with a reputable tax professional may go a long way toward ensuring that this kind of effort is undertaken as responsibly as possible.
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