The Tax Relief Center answers taxpayers’ questions on amended tax returns so they can avail of exemptions or stay current on their tax liabilities — even after they’ve filed their tax returns for the year.
In this article:
- What Is an Amended Tax Return?
- How Does an Amended Tax Return Work?
- When Should I File an Amended Tax Return?
- When Is the Amended Tax Return Deadline?
- Will an Amended Tax Return Trigger an Audit?
- How Do I File an Amended Tax Return?
- Where Do I Mail an Amended Tax Return?
- What Advice Can You Give Me About Filing an Amended Tax Return?
- Can You Amend Your Tax Return Online?
- Can You Amend a Tax Return Twice?
What You Need to Know About the IRS Amended Tax Return
What Is an Amended Tax Return?
When a taxpayer files an amended tax return, they are submitting a form with corrected entries and updating information on a previous tax return. The IRS knows the tax laws and systems can overwhelm the common taxpayer, so they allow each of us to file an amended tax return now and then.
How Does an Amended Tax Return Work?
After the taxpayer becomes aware of more correct information in a tax return they sent to the IRS, like an underpaid liability or an exemption they qualify for, they can fill in and file Form 1040x Amended Tax Return.
Filing an amended tax return benefits taxpayers by giving them bigger amounts in their tax refunds or by keeping them out of trouble by paying the correct tax amounts.
When Should I File an Amended Tax Return?
Every taxpayer should amend their tax returns once they realize the information in the tax return they filed no longer holds true.
This can mean they failed to take advantage of an exemption or abatement they meet eligibility requirements for. The other time taxpayers should make amendments is when there is a part of the tax they haven’t accounted for but are actually liable to pay.
When Is the Amended Tax Return Deadline?
Taxpayers can opt to file their amended tax return either two years from the date they paid the tax or three years after filing their original return. The IRS stresses going for the later one of these dates.
Will an Amended Tax Return Trigger an Audit?
The IRS wants correct tax payments every single time, so they favor amending tax returns. They caution taxpayers against errors so they don’t overpay or underpay their taxes.
This means an amended tax return will not raise an alarm over at the service or serve as an IRS audit trigger.
Of course, the IRS operates on a case-to-case basis if the taxpayer submits an amended tax return for the unpaid tax liability. The IRS will charge the taxpayer with penalties and interest for the late payment of taxes.
How Do I File an Amended Tax Return?
Here are step-by-step instructions on how to file an amended tax return:
- Identify the Entry or Section You Need to Amend: Kindly make sure you perform the necessary research to make sure your understanding of the part is correct. You can consult with your tax specialist to help you with this part.
- Gather Supporting Documents or Evidence: If you’ve failed to claim an exemption for a child, for example, you will have to collect proof like birth certificates to establish your relationship.
- Download the Forms from the IRS Website: The IRS requires you resubmit forms connected to the section you’re correcting. The good thing is the service has made these forms available for you online on the IRS website.
- Get a Form 1040X and Fill It with Corrected Information: You will have to download and fill in Form 1040X for every tax return you’ve filed. More than one tax return means the same amount of 1040X. You will need to pay attention to the instructions on the form itself so you update your information correctly. The IRS provided a section where you can explain why you’re filing an amended tax return.
- Send the Amended Tax Return to the IRS: Once you’re done, send the accomplished form 1040X back to the IRS with all the supporting documents attached. You can also send tax payments in case you’re amending your return for unpaid tax liability to lessen the tax penalties or interest the IRS will impose.
Where Do I Mail an Amended Tax Return?
The IRS requires taxpayers to send their amended tax returns to different addresses depending on where they live or what their circumstances are. Certain residents of specific states need to send their forms to particular IRS addresses while people who are eligible for hurricane victim relief need to send theirs to a separate one.
Kindly check the Where to File Addresses for Taxpayers and Tax Professionals Filing Form 1040X webpage to find out where you should send your amended tax return.
What Advice Can You Give Me About Filing an Amended Tax Return?
Here are a few things you should keep in mind when amending your tax return:
- Don’t Stress Over the Small Stuff: If it’s just a minor clerical error like a number or a calculation or failure to attach a schedule, the IRS can do it for you. You don’t need to file an amended tax return if it’s just for a small correction.
- Correct All or Correct Nothing: When you decide to amend a tax return, update all of the information, even for the ones that increase your tax liability. Tax specialists advise their clients to do this when amending tax returns because the IRS tends to review these forms more than original tax returns.
- Filing an Amended Tax Return is Completely Voluntary: The law does not require taxpayers to amend their tax returns even if the IRS sends them notices about discrepancies between their calculations and the ones citizens filed. Just make sure you filed your tax return with information to the best of your knowledge and you should be fine.
Can You Amend Your Tax Return Online?
No. The IRS only accepts amended tax returns submitted on paper.
Can You Amend a Tax Return Twice?
Yes, it’s possible. Just wait for the IRS to apply the first corrections before submitting a new amended tax return.
Amended tax returns allow taxpayers to correct mistakes long after they file the tax return with erroneous entries. This provides an opportunity for taxpayers to avoid trouble down the road or reap the benefits of exemptions or deductions they forgot to apply.
What kind of mistakes do you make on your tax returns and would you file an amended tax return for it? Give us your answers in the comments section below.
If you owe back taxes, visit taxreliefcenter.org for more information on tax relief options.