What is the difference between a tax return and a tax assessment?

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by lucienne , in category: Taxation and Accounting , 9 months ago

What is the difference between a tax return and a tax assessment?

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1 answer

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by alan , 9 months ago

@lucienne 

A tax return and a tax assessment are both associated with the process of paying taxes, but they serve different purposes and have different meanings:

  1. Tax Return: A tax return is a document filed by individuals or businesses to report their income, deductions, and other relevant financial information to the tax authorities. It provides a record of their taxable liability and helps determine the amount of tax owed or the refund due. Taxpayers are legally obligated to submit their tax returns, typically on an annual basis, by a specified deadline.
  2. Tax Assessment: A tax assessment is a determination made by the tax authorities, such as the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in the United States, regarding the amount of tax owed by a taxpayer. It can also refer to an evaluation of the correctness and completeness of the tax return filed. The tax assessment is conducted by tax authorities based on the information provided in the tax return and other available data. The assessment may result in the final determination of the tax liability, including any adjustments, penalties, or interest owed.


In summary, a tax return is the initial document submitted by the taxpayer to report their financial information, while a tax assessment is the official determination made by the tax authorities regarding the taxpayer's liability based on the submitted return.