Most people don’t pay much attention to the statement to which they are agreeing when they sign their tax return each year. If you have always filed yours honestly and knowledgeably, you have nothing to worry about. If, however, you typically just throw something together without taking the time to educate yourself about tax matters, the words should make you stop and think.
“Under penalties of perjury, I declare that I have examined this return and accompanying schedules and statements, and to the best of my knowledge and belief, they are true, correct, and complete.”
The penalties for filing a false tax return (and keep in mind that it doesn’t have to be with fraudulent intent in mind) are severe. Not only can the financial penalties be as high as $250,000, but there is the potential for jail time, as well. Just the court costs to defend against a false tax return charge can be significant, and as the saying goes, “ignorance is no excuse.”
So, how do you survive tax season and getting your federal tax return filed properly without spending hours and hours learning about tax laws? The simple answer is to use a professional tax preparer. It is far less costly to pay for their services than it is to face charges for a federal crime. Furthermore, you could be missing out on deductions you don’t know about and thus get a better refund or lower tax payment than you would have accomplished on your own. Doing tax planning throughout the year with your accountant is a good way to take care of your federal tax obligation without giving more than you need to.
If you have questions about federal tax reporting or would like to schedule a complimentary consultation about how our accounting firm, Gecinger Tax & Accounting, can help you with your personal or business accounting needs, don’t hesitate to contact us. Let us help you avoid penalties and other potentially disastrous outcomes of an improperly completed federal tax return.