Tax Prep & Planning

This is How You File An Amended Tax Return

It’s no secret – many taxpayers file their tax return and forget to include critical information that could significantly alter their tax liability. Maybe you quickly filed your tax return online in a hurry, or you had an unqualified tax professional file for you. For a number of reasons, you may have made a mistake on your own tax return. But all hope is not lost! If you’ve realized you made an error and need to file an amended tax return, it can be corrected – even if you’ve already filed.

You can file an amended tax return when there is incomplete, incorrect, or omitted information on the original tax return. The amended tax return should especially be filed if you forgot to claim credits and deductions, or need to correct filing status and income – whether the result is a tax refund or a tax bill.

What’s Your Next Move?

If you have a mistake on your tax return, you need to let the IRS know by filing an amended tax return. To do this, fill out for Form 1040X to amend a federal income tax return that you previously filed.

Here Are Some Tips For Completing Form 1040X

1 – Make sure you check the box at the top of the form that shows what tax year you’re amending.

2 – As you complete Form 1040X, make sure you complete all three columns:

  • Column A: Shows figures from the original return.
  • Column B: Shows the changes you are making.
  • Column C: Shows the corrected figures.

There is also an area on the second page of the form where you should explain the specific changes and the reasons for the changes. If the changes involve other tax schedules or forms, attach them to the Form 1040X. Failure to do this will cause a delay in processing.

3 – You can’t e-file an amended tax return. You need to print your Form 1040X on paper and mail it to the IRS.

If you are amending because you received a notice from the IRS, the amended return should go to the address indicated on the notice and the notice should be referenced in the amended return. Otherwise, mail it to the address indicated in the instructions.

When Should You NOT File an Amended Tax Return?

In some cases you don’t need to amend a tax return. Two examples are when you have a minor math error or didn’t include a required form or schedule. The IRS will follow up with you directly about the item that needs to be corrected.

What is the Deadline for Filing an Amended Tax Return?

If you expect a refund on your amended tax return, the deadline is generally three years from the original tax deadline or two years after taxes were paid for that year – whatever date is later.

If you discover a mistake or omission on your return that would require you to have to pay more to the IRS, you should still file as soon as possible to reduce or avoid tax penalties and interest. If you e-filed your original return, give it time to be processed before you amend. Also, if you are expecting a tax refund, wait for the IRS to clear the refund before you submit your amended return. You can check the status of your return by going to Get Your Refund Status. The IRS can generally assess additional tax and penalties three years after a return is due or filed, whichever is later. However, some situations have longer assessment periods.

Who Can Help You Amend a Tax Return?

Taxes are not a top priority for a lot of people. This is where Block Advisors can come to the rescue. Come in to any of our Block Advisors locations and get a Second Look® from an experienced tax advisor. All you need to do is bring in the original copy of your tax return (up to three years), and an advisor will review it at no cost. Our advisors can then prepare a tax return for you using your previously completed tax return as the source document, and hold a meeting with you as if it were a normal tax return.

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