Income tax dilemma

I have an appointment Monday morning to meet with my CPA tomorrow to go over my taxes for 2012. Last fall, when I was filling out the Financial Aid application for my son to start college, I had to get out last year’s tax return to find the info I needed. In doing so, I found that my CPA had mistakenly left off $250 in income I had made. I’m pretty sure I had given him the info and it was an honest mistake. Meanwhile I’ve found even more mistakes–on my part. In my state we are required to report online purchases that didn’t charge income tax, so that we can pay state taxes on them. I did that last year, but I didn’t realize we had to include shipping and handling in the total. I had all the info written down and just subtracted the shipping and handling, so now all I have to do is add it back on. No big deal. But I also went back and checked all my credit card and pay pal statements just to make sure I hadn’t made a mistake in my list. Well, I did find that I had accidentally left out three purchases–which I’m adding. But I wasn’t able to double check my Bank of America credit card statements b/c I have gone paperless and they don’t keep statements online that go back that far. I can call and ask them to send me a year’s worth of statements (which I MAY have to pay $5 each) so that I can double check, or I can be REASONABLY certain that what I have written down is accurate. What’s really bugging me is that we have to sign our tax returns under penalty of PERJURY (which is a mortal sin b/c it’s like swearing an oath to God that you’re telling the truth). Do you think God will be pleased with the efforts I have already made and overlook a mistake if I did make one, or do you think He would be more pleased if I order the online statements (no matter what they might cost) and make DOUBLY sure that the info I have is accurate?

Just do your best and trust in the Lord. Nothing can be absolutely certain, and I think that you have made all reasonable efforts to be honest. If you make a mistake it will be an honest mistake. Don’t waste money on the chance that you may have left something out unless you are reasonably sure that you did. IMHO

Your CPA will be able to help you sort this out and if necessary file amended returns. Don’t fret, everything is fixable when you make honest mistakes.

God doesn’t work for the IRS.


Your intention is to do what is correct and Justice and in that regard you are virtuous. To be virtuous in your quest you choose to honor God. Doing as well as you can by intention is all you can do.

Thank you–this sounds very rational. I plan to get up early tomorrow morning and call the credit card company. If it’s going to cost more than a few dollars to get the statements, then I’ll just go with the info I’ve got since I did go through the statements LAST YEAR and wrote the info down–including shipping totals which I can just add back on. There is a CHANCE I made a mistake when I wrote it down, but there’s always the chance that we human beings can make a mistake. I have no overwhelming reason to believe I made an error though.

You said something in your post about paying income tax on online purchases. I can’t figure out what an online purchase would have to do with income tax. You pay income tax on money you earn, not on something you buy. This sounds to me like it would be sales tax. Please explain if I’m missing something here.

I really don’t think you have a thing to worry about. When you signed the statement that your income tax was correct, you really thought it was correct.

Some income tax rules are so nitpicking that I sometimes don’t see how any sane person can get their income tax absolutely correct.

Since you’re paying a professional to do this for you, you should ask him or her what you should do and trust his or her judgment.

I would imagine that the OP meant sales tax and said income tax by mistake. I don’t know what state the OP is from, but in West Virginia we have to report out-of-state online purchases that don’t charge tax. (Amazon, etc.) This is sales and use tax that is added to our income tax due (or deducted from our refund, as it was in my case).

Are you serious, the US government is one of the most money grabbing, immoral entities in the world. Are you serious, they are taking money from your children and grandchildren. If you feel that bad, give the $5.00 to some poor child that really needs because the government wont. ARE YOU SERIOUS

In my state, as I suspect it is in the OP’s state, there is a line on the state income tax return that asks if you made any online purchases on which you did not pay sales tax. If so, you follow the instructions for figuring what the amount of the sales tax would be for your locality and include it with your state income tax payment. (Or have it deducted from your refund.) The state taxing authority then distributes that amount to the entities that would have benefited from the sales tax had it been collected at the time of the sale.

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