When Should You Amend Your Filed Return?
There are three circumstances under which you should definitely file an amended return: if you filed using an incorrect filing status, if you incorrectly reported your total income, or if you made an error in computing your deductions or credits. Changes in any of these areas should be reported to the IRS on Form 1040X.
As stated above, the IRS usually finds out about unreported income and will eventually take steps to collect any additional tax you owe, along with penalties and interest. If you file an amended return claiming the income and pay any additional tax before the IRS catches the mistake, you will not be assessed nearly as much in interest and penalties.
Most often, returns should be amended because deductions and credits were omitted that taxpayers are entitled to yet neglect to include. Usually, this occurs because the taxpayer lacks reliable information. When the taxpayer includes the omitted deductions and
credits on their return, it will often result in higher refunds for the taxpayer. The IRS, typically, is not going to make you aware of your error(s).
So what should you do if you discover mistakes in your filed return? The general rule is that if you will owe additional money, you should file an amended return as soon as possible. If the IRS will owe you money, you have until three years from the date you filed the original return, or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. If you are owed an additional refund and are waiting for a refund for this year, do not file the amended return until you have received the refund from the original return. After you have received and cashed the original refund check, file your amended return to claim your additional refund.
© 2008 J. Wayne Lester, CPA | Located in Woodstock, Georgia. | 770-926-1377 | E-mail