Mistakes Were Made
In general, I would counsel against making assumptions from a headline, but when the headline is “Hundreds of government entities wrongly claimed tax credits,” well, you have to know you are not being led to a feel-good story. (Click here to see the article being discussed).
To make sure this does not spiral too far, the article is not about some government duplicity with wicked schemes to grow its own coffers. Instead, this is just a case of mistakes. It just feels like the government should know what the government is doing, though, right?
That would clearly be ideal, but ‘the government’ is an enormous entity and the part that actually deals with taxes is only a small part of the monstrosity. It would be a little unrealistic to expect all groups involved to be experts.
But beyond the initial pushback at how ridiculous this seems, it does speak to the complications that exist when speaking of taxes. These complications only increased over the last year-plus as Congress passed multiple large bills to fight against the coronavirus pandemic. Those acts changed rules without anyone being super clear on how they would be implemented. We then waited for implementation guidelines that sometimes changed multiple times, only increasing the confusion.
It then should not be surprising that mistakes were made. But how does one avoid making these mistakes? I say the best way to do so is to not go it alone.
It has been a long road from stimulus payments to Child Tax Credit payments, from PPP loans to Employee Retention Credits, all coming during a time when outside forces were weighing on people as heavy as they may ever have. Knowing what Congress passed that you could benefit from, and then how to properly benefit from it, took more time and attention than many people had. So before trying to use such programs, you should get answers from someone you trust.
That is a role that we have been able to play for many people since early last year, and it has been wildly satisfying to be able to do so. It has allowed us to be a place of comfort for many who needed it, and an unexpected light for others. Working together benefits all involved and helps fend off those unintended mistakes.
So remember, when things are overwhelming, do not hesitate to reach out to those who can help. And when those overwhelming things are ones we can help with, know that we love helping you get on the best possible track.
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To ensure we don't make the folks at the IRS ornery, we inform you that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein.
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