Math Error


IRS Definition of Math Error

What Is a Math Error?

Mathematical or clerical errors involve the following:

  • An addition, subtraction, multiplication, or division error shown on any return.
  • An incorrect use or selection of information for a filed return from tax tables, schedules, etc., provided by the IRS, if such incorrect use is apparent from the existence of other information on the return.
  • An entry on a return inconsistent with an entry on a schedule, form, statement, or list filed with the return.
  • An omission of information required on the return to substantiate an entry.
  • An entry on a return of a deduction and or credit in an amount which exceeds a statutory limit, if such a limit is a monetary figure, a percentage, a ratio, or a fraction, and if the items entered into the application of this limit appear on the return.
  • Missing or incorrect TINs (SSN, ITIN, etc.) for personal exemptions for the primary and secondary taxpayers, dependents, Child and Dependent Care Credit, Earned Income Tax Credit, Child Tax Credit, Premium Tax Credit or Education Credits.
  • A return claiming EITC, if EITC claimed in a previous year was disallowed through deficiency procedures and Form 8862, Information To Claim Earned Income Credit After Disallowance, was not filed with the return.

More from H&R Block

A math error made on a tax return can be more than just a simple addition or subtraction error. When one of the above errors happens, the IRS can use the authority it is given in the tax law and correct the error without going through deficiency procedures.

This means the IRS will make changes to your tax return, increase or decrease the taxes owed, and send you a notice. Some (but not all) of these notices give you 60 days to contact the IRS if you disagree with the changes. If you notify the IRS that you disagree, the IRS will reverse the changes. However, it is important to note that if you cannot provide proof that the changes you disputed were incorrect, the IRS will forward your return to the audit division for further review.

Learn more about how to handle IRS tax return and account problems.

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