Never, No, Always Keep Records!!

An interesting mail run today. I got a GameCube game I ordered on Friday. Wasn’t expecting that so quickly. I got a check from the government. I found out that I had done my taxes wrong in 2005 and 2006 and so I submitted a 1040X to amend them and the check is from one of those years. Yipee! Free money. And then there was a large envelope from the IRS that I set aside till after dinner.

Glad I did. I got audited. I don’t make that much money but that doesn’t mean you won’t be audited. When I first read the report, I knew exactly what they did wrong. So I sat down to correct them on what I knew could be an easy mistake. Two of my children have social security numbers that are very close and I thought they mixed them up. Then I stopped. If that was the case, the fact that they were auditing 2006 didn’t make sense. So I looked it over again. Then I pulled my records from 2004 to 2007 and took another look. Yep, I did indeed make a mistake. But I’m not content to pay $1,760 or so so I went over the numbers they offered. After some work, I did get the amount I owe for my mistake down by more than half. So I filed an appeal and we’ll see what happens.

So the lesson of this story is to keep your tax records! I have them filed nicely for the last three years and somewhat sloppy for the previous ones. You can bet I am going to keep them straight from now on. So don’t think you don’t make enough to get audited and don’t think that that unruly pile of papers isn’t important. It is. When you’re done, put them all in an envelope. And if you do your taxes electronically like I do, print out hard copies.

Now, go do all that right now before you forget it. Go on. Git.

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