For people with anxiety about filing taxes, here’s what things that happen when you make a mistake on your tax return:

– it gets corrected

– you get a letter in the mail either asking for some additional information or a letter showing the adjustment

– you pay the amount (there’s options for payment plans too!) or get a refund

Things that do not happen

– you’re “in trouble”

– you are charged with fraud

– you go to jail

I know that most people are probably just joking/exaggerating when they say a mistake on their return means they get thrown in jail but when I worked with the public I always would encounter people who believed that would happen and they would be panicking about it. So I like to put this out there every year because if I can even prevent one person from feeling that way, it’s worth it

I’ve fucked it up three different times and here’s the breakdown of results:

First time:

  1. The IRS sent me a letter “Tev you owe us XXXX.”
  2. I double checked. I owed the IRS money. I wrote them a check. It was fine.

Second time:

  1. The IRS sent me a letter “Tev you owe us XXXXX.”
  2. I double checked. The IRS owed me money. I told them this. They wrote me a check. It was fine.

Third time:

  1. The IRS sent us a letter “Tev and Dante you owe us this much”
  2. I double checked. We did pay them the right amounts but the numbers were in the wrong boxes. I told them this, they were like “oh yeah we agree.” It was fine.