IRS Math Errors Leave Americans Confused

Andrey_Popov /

The IRS has left Americans confused since the very beginning. They expect us to do our taxes and tell them how much we should pay to them – or how much they need to refund us. The whole system seems broken.

One thing we do expect is for them to be able to handle basic math. If they cannot add and subtract to determine what we owe or what our refund is, we’re in big trouble.

Well, the IRS is going about as well as everything else within the Biden administration. That is to say, there are clearly some major issues – including math errors.

9.4 million Americans were notified of a “math error” from the Internal Revenue Service. That kind of notice is enough to cause you to go into a deep panic. What does that mean, exactly?

It’s not as if the IRS is easy to get ahold of. In fact, over the past year, many people have had to deal with countless delays to get in touch with anyone who can explain what is going on. And as a result of the IRS backlog, many people are going into collections even though it wasn’t necessary.

The “math error” caused people’s tax refunds to get modified – and without any kind of explanation as to why. So, imagine paying an accountant to file your taxes. You assume that the number they give you as to what your return will be is what you will see in your bank account within the next three weeks. Then, surprise – you get less than that and a letter that shows up in the mail a few weeks later to explain that there was an error.

Erin M. Collins is a National Taxpayer Advocate and has acknowledged that there are a number of problems within the IRS. The math error notices are “vague and confusing to most people because there is little to no explanation as to what is going on.

The notices provide a list of what could be the problem – allowing you to try to figure it out. Perhaps there was a missing Social Security number, perhaps the dependent was too old, or perhaps there was just a miscalculation on one of the forms that were submitted.

By placing the issue on the taxpayer, it complicates things even more. The IRS has the authority to make adjustments as they see fit. If taxpayers disagree, they only have 60 days to request an abatement or reversal.

Collins explains in a blog post, “It is key for taxpayers to understand that once the 60-day time period has elapsed, and the taxpayer has not requested a reversal, they lose their opportunity to have the matter reviewed by the U.S. Tax Court.”

Well, isn’t that convenient? This seems to be just another issue that the Biden administration has created – and it’s causing yet another disturbance in the finances of the American people. Haven’t they done enough to cause financial hardship?

The Taxpayer Advocate Service has already recommended that the IRS provide precise reasons for the adjustment so that taxpayers are not left in the dark, wondering about a “math error” that may or may not have been their fault.

Americans have to be in the know – otherwise, they could be victims of the IRS taking from them simply because of a small error in the way in which taxes were filed. Fair? Hardly. However, that seems to be the way in which every department under the Biden administration seems to be operating.