6 Things to Remember when Filing an Amended Tax Return




Have you discovered a problem on your latest tax return? Have you noticed that you’ve made mistakes on some of your past returns? If so, there may be a way to correct your mistakes and avoid potential problems by filing an amended return. By following a few simple tips, you can fix past mistakes and ensure that you are filling out your tax returns correctly in the future.


Remember to File within the Required Time Frame


One of the most important tips for filing an amended tax return is to ensure you are submitting your request within the required time frame. In most cases, you’ll only have three years from your original Form 1040X filing date to submit an amended return and claim a refund. If you paid the tax, you can file an amended return within two years of the date the tax was paid. For example, this means that the last day to file a 2012 claim for a refund will be April 15, 2016.


Don’t File an Amended Return for Missing Forms or Math Errors


If you notice that you’ve made a mistake on your tax returns, such as you forgot to submit a form or you made a math error, you typically won’t need to file an amended return. In the case of math errors, the IRS will simply correct those mistakes for you. If you forgot to attach a schedule, a Form W-2, or another attachment that the IRS needs, the IRS will likely mail you a request to send in those particular forms. This makes the process significantly easier than having to file an entirely amended return.


Use the Right Forms


If you’ve noticed that you made an error on your tax return, whether you put down the wrong filing status, listed incorrect credits or deductions, or majorly flubbed your income, it is important to submit an amended return. Failure to do so could result in far-reaching tax implications that may cost you a lot of money or could have you paying in too little. In some cases, past due taxes may even be withheld from your paycheck, requiring you to seek out the services of a wage garnishment attorney services for assistance.


When filing an amended return, it is vital that you are filing the right form. You don’t want to just redo the original form, and you should be utilizing Form 1040X, the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. These forms are specifically used to correct tax returns, and they must be completed in a paper copy. Unlike original tax returns, they cannot be filed electronically and will need to be mailed to the IRS for processing.


Feel Free to Track Your Amended Return


The IRS offers a new tool known as “Where’s My Amended Return?” that allows you to track your amended tax returns beginning three weeks after it has been filed. This tool can be used on IRS.gov or by calling the toll-free number 866-464-2050. Both tools can be utilized in English and Spanish and allow you to track the status of an amended return for the past three years. To use it, you’ll simply entry your taxpayer ID number, which is often your Social Security number, zip code, and birthday. If you have several amended returns submitted, you will be able to check the status of each one individually.


You Likely Won’t Need to Amend Form 1095-A


If you notice that you’ve made a mistake to Form 1095-A, the Health Insurance Marketplace Statement, you likely won’t need to send in an amended return. Regardless of the nature of your error, and even if you would owe additional taxes, eligible taxpayers that filed a 2014 tax return and claimed a tax credit using incorrect information from the Marketplace won’t have to file an amended return. However, the IRS could contact you to request a corrected form in order to verify the information. If you have questions about this, accountants or tax relief specialists can provide you additional guidance on when you should or shouldn’t file an amended form.


Don’t Delay Paying Extra Tax


In some cases, a mistake that you find on your tax return might not be in your favor, and this could result in your need to pay in extra tax. It is recommended that you pay in this tax as soon as you can, as this can stop added penalties and interest payments. You can use the IRS direct pay services in order to pay tax you owe directly from your savings or checking account.


Filing an amended tax return can have major implications on your taxes, your refund, or the amount of tax you need to pay in. If you have questions about how to file an amended return, contact the IRS or your accountant. Also, if you have any tips you would like to share with us and others, please feel free to do so!

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