by Thomas Keister
As much as we would like to think it doesn’t happen, there are times when various things hit various fans, and you find yourself facing the realization that something is wrong on the tax return you have filed. While there is no guarantee that things will break good or bad when you file an amended return, it is important to know a little bit about the process going in.
You will have to file using the paper form, Form 1040X (Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) to make the corrections, as amended returns are not accepted electronically or by e-File. You will need to file a separate Form 1040X for each return, making sure to note the tax year at the top of each Form 1040X. Be sure to attach any other IRS forms or schedules involved in making the changes physically to the Form 1040X (common sense dictates stapling everything together).
The forms will contain all the information you will need on where to mail the completed forms. If filing more than one amended return, mail each tax year separately. Your tax preparer will have the forms available, or you can print them out from the Internal Revenue Service website.
If you just made a mistake in the math or forgot to include a form, don’t waste time and money filing an amended return- the IRS will let you know either way something’s off or missing. You should file an amended return to change filing status, or to make any corrections to income, allowable deductions or credits you might qualify for.
Time is always a factor with the IRS, so make sure you keep the following two things in mind:
Once you have filed the Form 1040X, you will have two options, depending on the final result. If you will owe, or owe more than originally thought, then obviously you will want to pay the tax as soon as possible, as penalties and interest will begin to accrue.
If you are due a refund, then you will be able, in most cases, to track the status of your amended return three weeks after filing with the Where’s My Amended Return tool, available on the IRS website. The tool can check current amended returns as well as returns up to three years back.
Tax, business, and consumer news and opinion. Curated and/or written by the HFG staff.
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