Jan 25, 2023

Question of the Day: How many math errors did taxpayers make on tax returns last year?

Last year, the number of errors grew 12x times!

Answer: Over 12.9 million errors!

Data from IRS


  • Does it surprise you that taxpayers make so many errors on their tax returns? 
  • What are strategies that you can use to avoid making mistakes on your own tax return? 
  • What are the consequences when you make math errors on your return?

Here are the ready-to-go slides for this Question of the Day that you can use in your classroom.


Behind the numbers (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 tips and tricks to implement Questions of the Day in your classroom


We update our taxes unit every year! Check out the updated Taxes Unit

About the Author

Mason Butts

After graduating from UCLA with a Master's in Education, Mason spent 5 years as a science educator in a South Los Angeles public high school. He is committed to supporting the holistic growth of all students and empowering them to live a life of relational, academic, and financial success. Now settled in the Bay Area, Mason enjoys facilitating professional developments and partnering with educators as they prepare students for a bright financial future. When Mason is not building curriculum or planning a training, he can be found cycling, trying new foods, and exploring the outdoors.

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