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Common Mistakes That Lead to Owing Back Taxes

For my clients in Atlanta, tax relief from a tax attorney is the last hope for getting out of an unfortunate situation with IRS tax debt.You can avoid IRS trouble by learning from these common mistakes that lead to owing back taxes.

Think of the IRS as your prickly Aunt Mildred who is always correcting your grammar and criticizing your fashion choices. It may feel like they are just waiting for you to slip up, so they can swoop in and disrupt your life with an IRS tax audit. Atlanta tax attorneys agree that the best defense is not to give them any ammunition in the first place. There are some cut-and-dried tax help steps you can take to make sure you stay in the IRS's good graces. (You're on your own with Aunt Mildred.)

Meet the deadline. If you can't get all your paperwork together by April 15th, don't hide under a rock and assume the nice federal agents won't be able to find you. Buy yourself some time by going online and submitting Form 4868, Application for Automatic Extension of Time to File U.S. Individual Income Tax Return by the regular deadline. If you can't do it, ask for tax help from an Atlanta tax attorney or CPA.

Pay on time, even if only in part. Even if you filed an extension, you still have to pay what you think you owe. If you can't make the complete payment on April 15th, pay as much as you can. The IRS will still eventually dun you for fees and interest (an Atlanta tax lawyer can help you get IRS tax help), but they won't take as dim a view as they would if you tried to get away payment-free.

File a return. If you don't, Atlanta tax lawyers will tell you that the IRS will do it for you, and it will reflect the government's best interests, not yours. You can always file an amended return down the line.

Keep copies of everything. The IRS manages the taxes of hundreds of millions of people and companies, the law of averages says that some things are going to slip between the cracks. Make sure it's not you by keeping copies of all pertinent paperwork. If the IRS knocks on your door with a smile, you want your Atlanta tax attorney to be able to help on your behalf.

Double-check your math. According to the Treasury Department, self-filers have an error rate as high as 61 percent. Even tax preparation software is better than doing it on your own. There is less room to make mistakes and it will prompt you to ensure you have pursued every avenue to deductions. Better yet, have your Atlanta CPA or tax attorney help prepare income tax returns for you.

Don't cheat. Did you know that the IRS is already in possession of your W-2 and other information? If they find discrepancies, you'll have some explaining to do, and they'll be less likely to give you IRS tax relief. Then you will really need an Atlanta tax lawyer.

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