Amending a Tax Return

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Made an error on your tax return?  You can fix that error by "amending" your tax return.  File the correction on IRS Form 1040 X.  Currently you have to make amendments on paper.

Make sure you indicate on the 1040 X, the year of the return that you are fixing.  If you want to fix errors for several years, you will need to submit separate forms for each year that you are fixing.

Unless you are amending the return yourself, it will probably cost you, so generally if you make simple mathematical errors, the IRS will catch those and inform you, thus avoiding any necessity to engage a professional to file an amendment for you.  Usually if you forget to include a form, the IRS will also inform you of that, however, you cant be sure how soon they will do that.  If you neglected to include some income documents, say you forgot to include a distribution that you took from your 401K or IRA, which will significantly increase your gross and taxable income, you may want to make that amendment and payment as soon as possible to avoid all the interest and penalties that will apply and accrue to you.

If you are due a refund on your original return, wait until you receive your refund before filing the amendment.  While you are able to cash that refund, if the amendment that you will be doing will increase your income and therefore increase your tax liability, you should consider holding on to it for your upcoming liability.  Usually a filed amendment takes anywhere from 12 to 16 weeks to process.

You generally have a 3 year time limit in which to file an amended return and claim a refund.  So file within 3 years from the date you timely filed your original tax return, or within 2 years from the date you paid any taxes owed, whichever is later. If you filed before April 15th, your return is considered filed on the due date, which is generally April 15th.

Once you have filed your amended return, you can track your return status at "Where's My Amended Return," or call the IRS at 866-464-2050.

Here's a video that may be of help.

Have you amended a tax return?  Do you have tips that may help the nation?  Let us know in comments, hope to hear from you.  

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