I made a mistake on my taxes (gasp)?

So this was my first year attempting to do my taxes with the education deduction. I started school in november 2019. i had no idea what numbers i had to plug in (afterwards i found out there is a form i have to follow). so instead of putting the 2 months tuition i attended school in 2019 I put in the tuition for the whole year 2020 and it gave me an extra $600+. yes, clearly I should have asked for help before submitting my taxes but i didn’t, is the IRS going to arrest my *** lol help. anyone else mess up their taxes and it ending up being a semi easy fix??

8 Answers

Relevance
  • 4 weeks ago

    You now have to file an ammended tax return on paper, by mail. It's not difficult but it's a pain. You will owe them money since you got too much back.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Eva
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    You will have to file an amended return to fix the error. You should have waited until you had all your documents, since the IRS is not accepting returns until January 27. Don't spend the refund when you get it since you will have to return most of it to the IRS.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 4 weeks ago

    Taxes are always based on when you actually receive or pay the money, not when you earn it or receive the thing you paid for.

    So if you paid tuition in 2019 for classes that would start in 2020, then it counts toward your 2019 tax calculations.

    This is similar to paychecks around new years. for example if you work the last week of 2019 but receive that paycheck in January 2020 it will go toward your 2020 tax calculations because that's when you actually received the money, regardless of when you "earned" it.

    Anyway the point is that you may have actually been correct. Wait until you get your 1098-T form from the college (you should have done that anyway). Then check the amount you claimed against what they reported.

    If the numbers match, then everything is fine.

    If the numbers don't match, then file an amended return using form 1040-X to correct the mistake. If you used tax software such as turbo tax, Taxslayer, etc, you can easily start and file an amendment through the same desktop software or online service (but they'll charge a fee even if your initial return was free).

    If the result of the mistake is that your refund should have been smaller, you have until April 15th to repay the money without penalty. After April 15th they will apply a late payment penalty and begin charging interest.

    Under no circumstance would you ever be arrested for a simple mistake like this.

    • NA
      Lv 7
      4 weeks agoReport

      Tuition paid in 2019 for 2020 can only be claimed for classes that start in the first quarter.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • 4 weeks ago

    You have until April 15 to file a correct return. When you do that the matter will be closed.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • How do you think about the answers? You can sign in to vote the answer.
  • Amy
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    Use form 1040-X to correct your tax return. Pay back the extra money that you received.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • NA
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    The rule is if you include the tuition you paid *in* 2019, which can include classes that start in the first 3 months of 2020. 

    When you get the 1098-T, you need to confirm the amounts.  if you put too much on the education credit form, you get to amend and return the money.  If you return it before 4/15/2020, no harm, no foul.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Judy
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    No you won't be arrested, and if you paid it all in 2019 it might have been right.

    • Login to reply the answers
  • Erik
    Lv 7
    4 weeks ago

    I would just do nothing.  They will either catch it or they won't.  They probably will, and you will have to pay what you owe, plus maybe a small penalty.  They don't really "punish" people for honest mistakes.

    • Login to reply the answers
Still have questions? Get your answers by asking now.