Will my filing mistake cost me my refund?
March 8, 2012 9:50 PM   Subscribe

I made a silly mistake on my taxes (US) and am wondering if it will prevent me from getting my refund.

I did my own taxes this year for the first time. I think on both the fed and new york state forms I neglected to specifically request how much I wanted to be returned to me. For example, on the fed, I neglected to subtract the amount due from the amount paid. It's clear that I didn't owe anything, but I didn't do that last calculation. In the ny state form IT 201, I left line 78 blank. In both returns, however, I did indicate I wanted my taxes to be paid via direct deposit and filled that information out correctly. Do you think I have to worry about not getting it because I didn't complete the lines in question.
posted by anonymous to Law & Government (7 answers total)
This mistake will not cost you your refund, if you are owed money. I've had state and federal tax bros make minor corrections to my tax return (missed deduction, typos) -- it will be obvious to them what amount to fill in, and you will get your return. I don't think this even applies to you, but you have up to three years to file an amended federal tax return (IRS link) -- so you can pretty much totally screw up your return (in good faith) and still claim money owed to you years later. Underpayment, on the other hand, can incur tax penalties.
posted by eddydamascene at 10:36 PM on March 8, 2012

Call the NYS and Fed IRS hotline in the morning. Or, send in an amended return which is the same except for your completing the form. You didn't make a mistake, you left a line out. Easy to fix.
posted by JohnnyGunn at 10:36 PM on March 8, 2012

Don't make waves, it'll just delay everything. That is probably a common error, and they'll find it and do what they think you wanted. If you had owed money they would send you a bill; if they owe you a refund they'll just do it. If you don't see your refund in your account, then only sometime after April 15 call ask ask about it.
posted by caclwmr4 at 10:45 PM on March 8, 2012 [1 favorite]

Yeah, they'll take care of this for you. They'll tell YOU what they believe you're owed, based on your reporting. You are not the only person who did this.

The IRS will probably do this faster and more efficiently than evil New York State.

Don't do your own taxes any more! You're not good at it! :)
posted by RJ Reynolds at 4:45 AM on March 9, 2012

The IRS will probably do this faster and more efficiently than evil New York State.

Yes, I filed in January with the IRS and New York state. The IRS refund came within a couple of weeks. The New York refund took about a month longer.
posted by Jahaza at 6:53 AM on March 9, 2012

Don't do your own taxes any more! You're not good at it! :)

Well, at least use software -- often free -- that won't make this mistake.

I agree that this will be almost certainly automatically fixed. Depending on what you entered on the form, you may or may not get a letter "amending" your return. But you will get your refund.

Fixing math errors is part of what they do, in case they're ... y'know ... intentional.
posted by dhartung at 1:27 PM on March 9, 2012

I've forgotten to claim something that would have gotten me a larger refund. The IRS fixed it and sent me the adjusted refund.

I wrote the wrong account number on my form for direct deposit. They tried to deposit it, the bank refused it. The IRS mailed me a check.

The moral of the story is, the IRS knows how to fix stupid mistakes.
posted by magnetsphere at 4:06 PM on March 9, 2012

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