The Second Time Can be the Charm – File an Amended Tax Return
The IRS has me in mind when it comes to amended tax returns. No matter what I am doing online, I always fret before I click “send” – especially when I am submitting my electronic tax return. I just want to make sure I have all the correct information in there.
But, just like when you (okay, I’m really talking about me) are online and buy plane tickets for the wrong weekend or enter your own telephone number incorrectly, it can all be corrected. The same goes for tax returns because sometimes you need a second chance.
The following is a quick Q&A about amended returns.
What is an amended tax return?
An amended return is usually filed because something was incomplete, incorrect or omitted from the original tax return.
How do I know if I should file an amended tax return?
An amended return should 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.
Is there a deadline for filing an amended return?
If you are claiming a refund, the deadline for filing an amended return is three years after the original deadline or two years after taxes were paid for that year – whichever is later. If you owe taxes, there is no deadline to file an amended
If correcting my error will result in a tax bill, should I wait to hear from the IRS or go ahead and file an amended return?
If you discover a “taxable” mistake or omission you should amend as soon as possible, because depending on the size of the tax bill, you could reduce or avoid penalties. 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 to receive it before you submit your amended return.
Do I use a “regular” tax return or is there a special form?
There is a special form: use 1040-X to correct previously filed 1040, 1040-A and 1040-EZ forms .
Can amended returns be filed electronically?
No. They must be mailed to the IRS.
Where do I mail the amended return?
Check the Form 1040-X instructions for your state’s IRS Service Center address. But, 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.
So, if you are just now finishing your spring cleaning (yes, I am talking about myself once again) and have found those tax documents that went missing when you had to file your return, you might need to file an amended tax return. For more information about amended tax returns, make an appointment with an H&R Block tax professional .