Generally, the tax preparer professionals are diligent people. They know even small mistakes can have large consequences. Therefore, they take their duties seriously and try to eliminate the margin of error. However, the human error is one factor that can never be fully eliminated.
When the errors occur in your tax return, the IRS may launch an investigation or an audit against you. It could be followed by tax penalties or interests. That is why you need to be weary of such incidents and take steps to minimize the fallout for yourself beforehand.
5 Valuable Steps for Minimizing the Damage to a Taxpayer
You may follow these valuable steps that can help you avoid IRS penalties and fines for the negligence of your tax preparer;
Never Sign or Submit Your Tax Return Without A Thorough Review
After preparing your tax return, your tax preparer send you the documents for signing them. Once you give your approval, your tax returns are submitted to the IRS. Many people just sign the document without taking a detailed review of the numbers and the facts. This a very bad habit.
Upon signing the returns, you also agree to have thoroughly checked everything. That is why the taxpayers are not generally exempt from penalties for mistakes. You must review everything with due diligence. Do not consider the assessment of your documents as a mere formality. Instead, treat this matter with the grave attention it deserves.
If you find some errors, you can point them out to the tax preparer for correction. If these errors were the fault of your tax preparer, then he or she may be willing to waive your payment, or pay for the IRS fees and penalties levied against you.
Know Your Rights
Do not sign a contract with a tax preparer without thoroughly reading and understanding what is written. Make sure to clear away any questions or confusions. Take a note of what are your rights as a client. Make sure that a provision for the tax preparer to accept responsibility for a willful or neglectful error is added to the contract. A contract is a responsibility, take it as such.
Be Aware of the Deadlines
Your tax preparer may make mistakes on your tax returns. You can follow a certain procedure to file for the correction of those errors or mistakes. The easiest method is to file for a revision directly with the IRS. In such cases, you can correct the mistake yourself, or hire a specialist to do so on your behalf.
However, there is a finite amount of time for you to file for corrections. A deadline of three years is a standard limit for correction filings in most cases. You need to provide an irrefutable proof along with this application that confirms you have overpaid in your taxes. You will not be able to file for any corrections once three years have passed.
The IRS can also pursue a taxpayer if he or she has paid less than what they owe to the federal government. In such cases, the IRS also has only three years to pursue the matter and demand further payment. Once the statute of limitations has passed, you can no longer be pursued.
Keep in Mind: The cases of fraud or tax evasions can be pursued regardless of how much time has passed. There is no statute of limitations against pursuit of such criminal activity.
Pay the Fines, Interests, and Penalties
If the IRS levies some financial penalties against you because of the errors in your taxes, you must not hesitate to pay them. It does not matter if the fault for errors lies with you or your tax preparer. If you fail in paying off the penalties, the IRS will come after you.
You must pay what you owe. If the fault does not lie with you, you can pursue your tax preparer for compensation. You can also file for a refund with the IRS at a later date.
Alert the Relevant Authorities of Your Tax Preparer’s Negligence
Several professional tax preparer watchdog agencies can help you gain justice for negligence of your tax preparer. You can either file a complaint with them, or you can pursue the matter directly with the IRS. You can file with the IRS if your tax preparer.
- Behaves in an unethical manner
- Violates the agreed upon terms of contract
- Intentionally avoids making contact with you
- Refuses to reimburse you for the penalties, fines, and other monetary compensation owed to you
The other organizations that handle complaints of negligence against a tax preparer are;
- American Bar Association or ABA
- National Association of Enrolled Agents or NAEA
- American Institute of Certified Public Accountants or AICPA
Tax preparation and accounting requires extremely precise calculations. A small mistake can have large consequences. You must take steps to avoid those consequences.