Mistakes on tax returns aren’t always tax evasion

On Behalf of | Mar 5, 2024 | Uncategorized

Tax season is stressful even for those who try to be responsible about their finances. People never know how much they may need to pay or how much of a refund they might receive. Oftentimes, taxpayers engage in very specific behaviors with the intent of reducing how much they pay in income taxes each year. Under current tax laws, simply trying to reduce what someone pays is not necessarily tax evasion. Tax avoidance and tax minimization are both fully legal practices.

Someone’s attempt to reduce tax responsibilities only becomes a crime if they intend to deceive the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or state authorities when filing a tax return. Those concerned about potential tax return errors need to know their rights to protect themselves.

Taxpayers have certain rights

People in a host of different positions may find tax matters difficult to handle on their own behalf. For example, those who just became self-employed or started a small business may have a hard time understanding the tax implications of those changes. Bankruptcy proceedings can also lead to confusion about tax obligations.

People can and do make mistakes, and when they do, they need to know their rights. Those in Tennessee deserve to have clear information about tax issues. They have the right to request relevant public records and to expect polite treatment from those working for tax authorities. They also have the right to question determinations made about their tax returns and to secure legal representation when dealing with a tax controversy.

Lawyers can play a key role in assessing a tax issue to determine if someone made a major mistake or if the state misinterpreted the situation. They can also help people correct prior mistakes on a tax return already submitted to the IRS or Tennessee state tax authorities.

A voluntary disclosure agreement could help someone notify the state of an issue and limit the penalties that the state might impose. There are also options available for those facing federal tax controversies. The more challenging someone’s financial circumstances are, the more likely they are to need assistance when handling tax issues.

Working with a professional can help people to avoid mistakes when filing their taxes and/or to correct prior mistakes while minimizing the consequences those errors could inspire.


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