How to Avoid Mistakes & Get Decent Returns This Tax Season

Tax season is officially upon us! This can be one of the more daunting times of the year for a variety of reasons. The world doesn’t stop, so that means people have to deal with all of the regular things on their to-do lists, even with this daunting, scary, and confusing responsibility looming over them. Making a mistake while filing taxes can have some serious consequences. That’s why we’ve crafted a list of things to keep in mind as we go through this time of year.

When Is the Deadline to File Taxes?

Calendar showing date April 15 - Tax day.
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This year, the deadline is going to be April 15th, 2024. Of course, you can file before that date if you’re ready to do so. The quicker you file, the sooner you’ll get your returns.

What Happens if You Don’t File on Time?

Overdue - text concept button on keyboard.
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You could face a few consequences for not filing on time. The IRS is known for imposing penalties on people who don’t file on time. If you need more time, you can file for an extension. In a worst-case scenario, you could see your wages garnished and face very serious consequences on top of that. That’s not necessarily going to take place starting on April 16th, however.

Will The IRS Reach Out If You Don’t File on Time?

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There’s a chance that you’ll start getting letters from the IRS in the mail after some time. What they won’t do is call, text, or contact anyone through social media. All of these forms of contact are known to be used by scammers. This could very much lead to a terrible scenario: if you transfer money to any of these people, you’ll still owe the IRS!

Filing and Paying Could Be Two Different Things

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You can file an extension so that the entire paperwork for your taxes can be turned in at a later date. Even if you take this step, it’s still recommended that you make the necessary payments on time. Filing an extension won’t help you avoid penalties for not making payments on time.

Is Filling On Paper Instead of Online Still Worth It?

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There are two ways to file taxes these days. You can still do things the old-fashioned way by putting everything down on paper and mailing everything out to the IRS. The downside to doing this is that returns are going to take much longer to arrive. That’s the main reason why most people avoid this method. However, for others, this is still the best way to keep tabs on your taxes. If you’re more worried about avoiding mistakes and getting optimal returns as opposed to getting those returns fast, this could still be a viable option that’s worth exploring.

Mistakes on Tax Returns

Worried couple about mistakes in papers.
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What can truly happen if you make a mistake on your tax return? The consequences are usually equal to the severity of the mistake. You can be penalized with poor returns in a simple case where the issue is minor. One of the main issues, though, is that you could still owe the IRS money because of the mistake. That money could start to pile up and you could get hit with penalties upon penalties. If you spot the mistake and realize that you still owe the IRS some money you’ll want to pay up as soon as possible.

Tools to Help File Tax Returns

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The IRS offers a free guide that you can use to help navigate through your tax questions. It’s a great tool to help solve some of the common questions that people have. The problem is it may not be as effective for someone who’s completely in the dark about how to file. That being said, it comes with video guides that provide a step-by-step process that folks can follow through their tax journey.

On the same page, users can also access an interactive tax assistant database. This massive database compiles some of the most popular questions and provides direct answers or links to places where people can find solutions. Both of these tools are 100% free.

Hiring Professional Help

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One of the best ways to reduce the anxiety of the tax process is to hire professional help. The problem with this is it can be hard to figure out which individual account or large company is the perfect fit for you. If you’re on the fence about this, the best way forward may be to hire a well-known company that runs an office in your region. Looking for a company that’s transparent about the process and allows you to peek into what they’re doing can be one of the best ways to have peace of mind while working with one of these companies.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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