This article is a submission by Capactix Business Solutions. CapActix Business Solutions is a certified ISO 9001:2015 & ISO 27001:2013 company that offers specialized Accounting & Finance outsourcing solutions across various industries.
Tax preparation and filing can be an overwhelming job. It requires you to check and maintain accounts, make different calculations, count on the investments, and then prepare, fill, and pay taxes.
The majority of taxpayers wait until the last minute, resulting in an increased number of mistakes due to panic and rush hours. Even some taxpayers forget the deadline and miss out on paying taxes on time.
The data from Internal Revenue Service (IRS) based in the USA has revealed that in the year 2022, American citizens owed more than US$ 120 billion. This amount includes back taxes, interest, and stiff penalties.
Failure to pay taxes on time can lead to hard penalties like imprisonment, seizure of assets, and financial penalties. Awareness about paying taxes on time has increased over time, according to IRS survey results, 94% of citizens in America accept tax payments as their civil duty.
With increasing acceptance to take the taxation system seriously and avoid stiff penalties and related consequences, individuals and businesses have started paying taxes on time and even before the payment deadline.
If you pay taxes on time, you will have the cushion to make edits for the possible major mistakes made during tax preparation. A majority of business owners in America are outsourcing tax preparation to avoid major mistakes that can lead to several severe consequences.
Small businesses to large enterprises, and even individuals use tax preparation services from CPAs to meet tax deadlines efficiently. This trend of using services from CPAs and accountants puts overwhelming pressure on these accounting firms.
The increased workload can lead to silly mistakes under pressure. Thus, accounting and CPA firms also outsource tax preparation from remote locations with huge manpower and access to modern accounting tools and infrastructure.
7 costly mistakes people make during tax preparation
If you are wondering what kind of errors CPA firms or individuals under pressure make during tax season or even before that, then here are the top 7 costly mistakes commonly made by people while filing taxes:
1. Filling too early
This mistake is often made by individuals or small firms to get rid of the last-minute stress that many people face during the tax session. They prepare and fill out taxation way too early.
Early tax preparation and not waiting till the last minute is definitely good practice. However, when you fill it out too much in advance, you will likely miss out on some investments, expenses, and income.
This can lead to filling in the wrong details, which would either lead to false entries or may demand multiple edits before the deadline.
It is necessary to wait until you get all the required documents and details before filing taxes to avoid the risk of delayed processing or wrong entries.
Also, it is necessary to wait until the deadline comes closer as you get enough time to even keep a check on the latest accounting entries.
2. Typing mistakes
Tax preparation is a cautious job and needs accuracy. This is the reason businesses and individuals choose to invest in outsourcing tax return preparation services, so they can avoid silly mistakes.
However, committing errors is still so common among taxpayers and even companies offering this service. The following is the list of commonly made mistakes while filling out the tax:
- Social Security Number (SSN)
- Name of the person or company
- Individual tax identification number (ITIN)
These silly-looking mistakes are common due to typos made in a hurry and sometimes in overconfidence. IRS suggests following instructions and recommendations while filling in the tax details.
One should also keep all documents available such as a social security card, to check, fill, and cross-check details before submitting it for processing.
3. Miscalculation of credits and deductions
This is often made naively due to a lack of knowledge or practice. There are different slabs to keep in the account to make the math of deduction and credit to get to the final amount of refund or owed tax.
Earned income tax credit, child tax credit, child and dependent care credit, recovery rebate credit, or home office deductions are some of the standard tax credits available to taxpayers.
Making mistakes in calculating credits and deductions simply means that you are leaving some serious money on the table just because you are unaware of the eligibility.
Claiming ineligible items would also lead to a delayed refund, correction notice, or end up paying more tax.
If you are unsure about eligibility and other criteria for tax preparation, it is necessary to outsource tax preparation. This will keep your worries away. Alternatively, you must learn about the latest taxation rules and eligibility for different deductions and credits.
4. Simple math errors
This may sound funny, but the pressure may lead to this silly mistake, resulting in major consequences. IRS reported over 9.4 million math errors in 2022. According to a statistic shared:
- Exception errors: 2,495
- Errors in other credits: 30,240
- Mistakes in choosing the right filling status: 42,902
Simple subtraction or addition, or arithmetic error can lead to math errors. This can be due to missing out on entries or making a mistake while moving forms or schedules from one to another.
You can use an accounting tool for automatic calculation. However, even while using a tool, you must know the right rule of entries in the software. The best option could be outsourced tax preparation services and let your provider handle the job for you.
5. Incorrect routing and bank account numbers
Making a typo or some other sort of mistake in adding a bank account number and routing method can be one of the costliest mistakes in tax preparation. As per IRS, direct deposit is the fastest option to get a refund amount.
The best way to avoid this for individual businesses and CPAs that offer outsourcing tax preparation is to be cautious while adding a bank account number and routing. Also, double-check before filing the tax .
6. Not showing additional income
A majority of countries have an automatic system to fetch all sources of income to calculate taxes, including the IRS. Thus, an attempt to save money by not showing up with additional income is nothing more than a silly attempt, which is going to fail anyways.
It is necessary to show all different types of incomes, such as wages, bank interest, dividends, paid overtime, or extra work.
It is necessary to keep track of all sources of income and accurate information about income. Whether you own your own company or you are running a CPA firm that offers outsourcing tax return preparation services, you must collect all Forms 1099 before you actually start tax preparation.
7. Incorrect filing status
There are different options of tax filing statuses available to choose from while filling in the tax. In some cases, more than one status type may apply. This would confuse even an outsourcing tax preparation company if it were not paying complete attention to detailing.
This may increase the tax owed or reduce the refund amount. It may also lead to a correction notice.
If you are using outsourced tax preparation services, make sure to acquire services from an experienced professional or company. Experience leads to zero mistakes. If you are filing taxes yourself, you can get the help of an Interactive Tax Assistant on IRS.gov.
To avoid the similar mistakes mentioned above, consider the following requirements:
- Understanding of different forms, schedules, and rules related to the taxation system in your country or the country to which you offer outsourcing tax preparation services
- Access to the best accounting tools for automating arithmetic or transactional calculations.
- Experience and rich knowledge in tax preparation and filing
- All the documents of your income, expenses, and deductions
- Time and mindset to fill in the tax with accurate details
How outsourcing tax preparation can help avoid these costly mistakes
As mentioned earlier, not just businesses but even CPAs use tax preparation services from reliable accounting and bookkeeping companies.
Below are the major reasons behind this increasing culture of outsourcing tax preparation and filing service to third-party companies:
Skills and dedication
Tax preparation and filing is a tedious and rigorous job. It needs skills to understand different forms, schedules, eligibility, and criteria.
Additionally, one also needs to keep upgrading the skill set to match the changing tax regimes. This is an overwhelming job that demands dedication and skills.
A professional company that offers outsourced tax preparation services will have the best accounting & tax experts onboard that are dedicated to this job. They will meticulously check all documents before actually working on the preparation job.
These professionals are apt for the job and hold all the skills to be highly accurate in this job. Not only this, but they also put time into double-checking the details to avoid any human errors.
Technology disruption can lead to fewer tax preparation errors, faster calculations, and excellent returns. However, the best accounting tools and software are expensive and high maintenance, even for CPAs with a few clients.
Outsourcing tax preparation service providers will have the best tools and software as part of their infrastructure. Moreover, they will know the best ways to use them and add accurate automation scripts to automate processing.
From arithmetic errors to typos, everything can cause major issues in tax filing. Last-minute tax filing or overwhelming workload often leads to manmade mistakes like misspelled names or wrong bank account numbers.
It would also lead to wrong calculations of deductions and credits, which result in leaving unclaimed money on the table.
However, experienced accountants and CPAs working in companies offering outsourcing tax return preparation services will have hold of this job.
They not only know the right ways of calculating manually and by using tools, but they are also experts in rectifying typos and similar errors to avoid correction notices later.
Maximizing resource utilization
Whether you are a CPA firm or a business trying to manage tax preparation and filing on your own, you will need to invest resources in managing this job.
Outsourcing tax preparation to a third-party company will keep your resources available for other productive jobs. You can use them to put focus on your core strength.
When you decide to use outsourcing tax return preparation services from a trustworthy company, you are making an important decision by putting all pressure on that company.
You can be stress-free because they will be responsible for:
- Keeping a check on deadlines
- Collecting documents from you
- Putting accurate information during tax preparation
- Filling it out before the deadline
You will get access to the pool of talent that is pro in this job. You also have a strategic partner that helps you make better investments to get the benefit of receiving a high refund or reducing owed tax.
In general, you will not only avoid making costly taxation mistakes, but you will also be able to increase your overall returns.
Outsourcing tax preparation leads to business success
Due to increasing mistakes made during tax preparation and filing, businesses have started outsourcing tax preparation to CPA firms. The increasing work coming to these CPA firms is overwhelming, and this may lead them to make the same silly mistakes as their clients were making.
Offshore companies offering outsourced tax preparation services are the real saviors for CPA firms along with other businesses and enterprises.
These companies usually have access to certified and highly experienced accounting staff with an eye for detail, highly advanced technology and accounting software, and similar assets.
These third-party providers are highly professional and aware of common mistakes while preparing and filing taxes. Thus, they put extra effort into the calculation, tax preparation, and even in validation and verification before finally filling it.
Outsourcing tax preparation to trusted and certified companies is more favorable and beneficial for any company. This is the reason it is considered a smart move in the business world.