Hi, I’m Bette Hochberger, CPA, CGMA. Today I will be discussing when you may want to amend a tax return and how to do so.

Filing taxes is an essential part of financial responsibility, but what happens if you realize a mistake after you’ve already submitted your return? Understanding when and how to amend your tax return is crucial for ensuring accuracy in your financial records and compliance with the IRS.

Why Amend a Tax Return?

Amending a tax return is necessary when you need to correct errors or make changes after your original return has been filed. Common reasons to amend include:

– Reporting additional income not included in the original return.

– Claiming deductions or credits that were missed initially.

– Correcting filing status or the number of dependents.

The IRS Form 1040-X

To amend a tax return, you will use IRS Form 1040-X. This form allows you to make changes to your previously filed Form 1040 and its variants. The 1040-X is structured to show the IRS exactly what was changed and why.

Timing Matters

The IRS provides a specific timeframe for amendments:

– Generally, you must file Form 1040-X within three years from the date you originally filed your tax return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

– If you’re claiming an additional refund, waiting too long could mean losing out on that money.

Steps to Amend Your Return

  1. Review Your Original Return: Understand what needs to be corrected.
  2. Gather Documentation: Collect any documents that support your changes, such as income statements or receipts for deductions.
  3. Complete Form 1040-X: Fill out the form carefully, ensuring all changes are accurate.
  4. Attach Documentation: Include any necessary supporting documents with your 1040-X.
  5. Submit the Amended Return: Mail your amended return to the IRS. Note that amended returns cannot be e-filed.

Potential Impacts of Amending

– Refunds: If your amendment results in a refund, it typically takes the IRS 8-12 weeks to process.

– Owed Taxes: If you owe additional taxes, pay as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest.

Amending your tax return doesn’t have to be dreadful. Whether it’s to claim a missed credit or correct an income statement, timely and accurate amendments are a key part of responsible tax filing. If you’re unsure about the process, consider consulting a tax professional for guidance.

I hope you all learned something new today, and I’ll see you next time!