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.
by Thomas Keister
For most taxpayers, filing their tax returns and getting their refunds is no big deal. However, problems can arise when the taxpayer is not quite prepared when they visit their tax preparer. These problems can be minor, but can delay filing, which in turn delays the processing and arrival of any tax refund.
First- Make sure your paperwork is together.
While the IRS urges all taxpayers to file a complete and accurate tax return by making sure they have all the needed documents before they file, your tax preparer will also most certainly urge the same thing. This makes the filing process must simpler, as everything can be accomplished in one setting, saving you multiple appointments to get through the filing process. This means making sure you have all:
W-2s 1099s 1095-As from the Marketplace if claiming the Premium Tax Credit
Interest statements Mortgage statements Student Loan statements
Receipts for charitable donations Receipts for work-related expenses
Receipts for childcare-related expenses Social Security statements
Social Security numbers for dependents
Typically, these forms start arriving in the mail in January, although some interest statements for investments and investments accounts may take into February to make it. Always check these statements carefully, and contact the payer immediately to have a corrected statement sent out.
Second- Know how the refund schedule works.
In recent years, changes have been made to how some refunds are processed, which has lead to confusion and anger in customers in income tax preparation offices all over the country. By law, and income tax return that is claiming the Earned Income Tax Credit or the Additional Child Tax Credit will not be issued a refund by the IRS before the middle of February. This was designed to ensure taxpayers receive the refund they are due by allowing the IRS more time to detect and prevent fraud.
The IRS is expecting the earliest refunds related to EITC and ACTC claims to be available in taxpayer bank accounts or debit cards starting on February 27, 2018. This is if the taxpayer uses direct deposit and there are no other issues with their tax return.
Third- Know the fastest ways to file your return and get your refund.
Electronically filing a tax return is the most accurate way to prepare and file. Errors delay refunds and the easiest way to avoid them is to e-file. Combining direct deposit with electronic filing is the fastest way for a taxpayer to get their refund. With direct deposit, a refund goes directly into a taxpayer’s bank account.
Just having these three tips in mind- organizing your information, planning the best way to file and receive your refund, and expecting a bit of a wait will save you a lot of hassle and frustration when it comes to getting through tax season 2018.
Tax, business, and consumer news and opinion. Curated and/or written by the HFG staff.
(c) 2017-18 Hoosier Financial Group, LLC
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