Taxes are complicated, so it’s no wonder that everyone makes mistakes from time to time. But some actions go beyond incorrect arithmetic or thinking something is deductible when it’s not. Some actions can cost you tax breaks you might otherwise have been entitled to. And some actions can land you in serious trouble with the IRS, triggering steep civil penalties and, in some cases, criminal penalties. Here are actions to always avoid:
Not filing returns. If you meet the annual-filing threshold for your filing status, you must file an income-tax return, even if you don’t owe any money. If you don’t file, the IRS can complete a tax return, and may say you owe taxes. If no return is filed, the IRS has an unlimited amount of time to take action with the blank tax year (the year for which you didn’t file a return).