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What Does It Mean To Amend Your Taxes

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How Do I File An Amended Tax Return

How to Amend a 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 youve failed to claim an exemption for a child, for example, you will have to collect proof like birth certificates to establish your relationship.
  • The IRS requires you resubmit forms connected to the section youre 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 youve 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 youre filing an amended tax return.
  • Send the Amended Tax Return to the IRS: Once youre done, send the accomplished form 1040X back to the IRS with all the supporting documents attached. You can also send tax payments in case youre amending your return for unpaid tax liability to lessen the tax penalties or interest the IRS will impose.

You Can File An Amended Tax Return On Your Own

People with simple tax situations and small changes might be able to file an amended tax return on their own. Many major tax software packages include modules that will file an amended tax return. Many tax preparers are happy to file amended returns as well.

And note: Amending your federal tax return could mean having to amend your state tax return, too.

How An Amended Tax Return Works

If you make a mistake when filing your annual tax return, you can correct that mistake by filing an amended tax return. The form you must file to amend your return is called Form 1040-X, the Amended US Individual Income Tax Return.

Up until August 2020, you had to print a hard copy of Form 1040-X and mail it to the IRS, regardless of whether you filed your original return by mail or online. But the arc of technology eventually prevailed, and now you can file amended returns for 2019 and all future years on your online tax software, as long as you filed your original tax return online.

Stranger says that common reasons for needing to amend your tax return include:

  • Changing the amount of income or expenses after you discover you miscalculated when filing the next year’s return
  • Adding tax credits that were previously overlooked
  • Carrying losses back to previous years to offset your income and get a refund
  • Reporting 1099 income that you didn’t report previously

If you do need to file an amended return, according to the IRS, you have the later of three years after the date you filed your original tax return or two years after the date you paid your tax to file your amended return. If you filed your original return before the April 15 due date, it is considered filed on April 15

Quick tip: The IRS typically has three years to initiate an audit .

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How Should You Approach The Irs For Assistance

This tax season, the IRS got 167 million calls, which is four times the amount of calls received in 2019. According to a recent study, just 7% of callers reached a telephone representative for assistance. While you could contact the IRS to verify your status, the agencys live phone help is now very restricted since the IRS is working hard to clear the backlog. You should not submit a second tax return or inquire about the status of your return with the IRS.

For additional information, see the IRSs Let Us Help You page on its website. It also suggests that taxpayers seek in-person assistance at Taxpayer Assistance Centers. You may contact your local IRS office or call 844-545-5640 to schedule an appointment. If you are qualified for help, you may also contact the Taxpayer Advocate Service at 877-777-4778.

Though the odds of receiving live help are low, the IRS advises calling the agency directly only if it has been 21 days or more after you filed your taxes online, or if the Wheres My Refund feature directs you to do so. During normal business hours, you may reach us at 800-829-1040 or 800-829-8374.

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Will An Amended Tax Return Trigger An Audit

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The IRS wants correct tax payments every single time, so they favor amending tax returns. They caution taxpayers against errors so they dont 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.

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Amended Return Vs Irs Changes

If the IRS makes changes to your tax return, you usually dont need to file an amended tax return. Your notice will typically tell you not to amend your return unless you need to make other changes.

The IRS will adjust your original tax return and the amount due based on the information you provide.

Do I Have To File An Extension Application If I Dont Owe Anything

If you dont owe taxes or you are getting a refund, the penalty for filing late is $0, so you wont have a penalty for failing to file or for underpayment. Technically, you dont have to file an extension application in that case. But what if it turns out that you made a mistake, and you do owe money? Then the late-filing penalty will kick in. Just to be sure, file the extension application anyway.

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If Your Tax Return Is Accepted Does That Mean The Irs Is Finished Processing It

If you submit your tax return electronically, the Internal Revenue Service will notify you once its received and accepted it. This doesnt mean the agency is done with it, only that IRS hasnt spotted any obvious problems that require rejecting it. However, the agency still has to finish processing your documents and going over your figures.

Tips

  • Once you receive notice that the IRS has accepted your return, you can be confident the IRS has begun processing it. It will still take time before the return is fully processed and any refunds are sent.

How Do I File An Amended Return

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Form 1040-X can be filed by mail or electronically, in certain cases. To prepare your amended return, you will need:

  • A copy of your original tax return that you want to fix
  • W-2s
  • Schedules
  • Explanation for why you are amending your tax return

Make sure that your W-2s, forms, and schedules are for the same tax year as your tax return.

If your amended return indicates that you owe more taxes, you should pay your taxes as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges. You can pay your taxes online directly from your bank account for free using IRS Direct Pay.

Filing by mail:

  • Follow the instructions and complete Form 1040-X by entering the correct information on the form. In addition, explain why you are filing an amended return.
  • Sign and mail Form 1040-X to the address listed under Where to File in the forms instructions.
  • Helpful tips if you are filing by mail:

    • You do not need to submit your original tax return with your amended return. This is for your reference only.
    • If you are amending more than one tax return, you will need to file a separate Form 1040-X for each tax return you are amending. You will need to mail each form in a separate envelope.
    • Unlike filing electronically, you DO NOT need to submit new forms and schedules for your entire tax return. Only submit new forms and schedules that you have made changes to.

    Filing electronically:

  • Contact your tax software company to check if they can process your amended return electronically.
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    How Do I Fix A Mistake On My Taxes After The Irs Accepts My Return

    If youve found a mistake after the IRS officially accepts your return, you may wonder if theres anything actually wrong with it. After all, if the IRS approved it, doesnt that mean your tax return was fine?

    That depends on the error on the return. You normally dont need to correct math errorsthe IRS will catch and make those changes for you.

    On the other hand, mistakes having to do with personally identifiable information , filing status, dependents, total income, or tax breaks should be fixed, which is done by using Form 1040X.

    Questions Typically Asked About Filing An Amended Tax Return

    Everybody makes mistakes there are no exceptions. If you discover an error or something you missed on your return after you filed it, don’t panic.

    Fortunately, most mistakes in life can be fixed, and your tax return is no exception.

    When should I file an amended tax return?

    A Form 1099 that slipped under the couch, a substantial business deduction you forgot, or any other item that changes your tax return may mean you need to file an amended return.

    Sometimes you need to file an amended return for something that is not your fault. For example, your employer may send a corrected form, which means the amounts you used when you filed your return need to be corrected.

    Unless the change to your tax liability is inconsequential, it’s best to change your return.

    In some cases, you should file an amended return even if the changes don’t impact the amount of tax you owe. For example, if you entered an incorrect Social Security number, you should amend your return to avoid future problems.

    How to file an amended return

    The most important thing to know about filing an amended return is that you should not start over and file Form 1040 and all the attached forms again. You only file your complete tax return once. After that, you file Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return and change only the items that are incorrect.

    You cannot e-file your amended return. Instead, the IRS requires that you print the Form and file it by mail.

    Am I in big trouble with the IRS?

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    Tax Return Filed With Irs But Should You Amend It

      You filed your taxes, but what if you realized you made a mistake, forgot your W-2, or omitted income from a Form 1099? It is not too early to amend, but should you? Math errors are not a reason to amend, since the IRS will correct math errors on your return. You normally also do not need to amend if you discover that you omitted a Form W-2, forgot to attach schedules, or made similar mistakes. The IRS will request them if needed. So don’t assume that a mistake means you must amend. One key factor is timing and your intent when you filed. Ask yourself whether the return you filed was accurate to your best knowledge when you filed it. If it was, you are probably not legally required to file an amendment. You might want to amend, but you probably do not have to amend.

      Tax Form 1040X, phone and calculator on a red velvet background, close-up

      Getty

      If you find you made a mistake, receive revised Forms 1099 or K-1, etc., the IRS says you should amend. But you are not actually required to file an amended return. If you do, though, you cant make only corrections that get you money back, but not those that increase your tax liability. Every tax returnincluding amended onesare filed under penalties of perjury. So be accurate and complete. If you are going to amend, you do it by filing a Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return, or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

      How To File An Amended Tax Return With The Irs

      How to Get a Copy of Your Tax Return or Transcript

      OVERVIEW

      Did you make a mistake on your tax return or realize you missed out on a valuable tax deduction or credit? You can file an amended tax return to make the correction. Filing an amended tax return with the IRS is a straightforward process. This article includes step-by-step instructions for when and how to amend your tax return using Form 1040-X.

      For information on the third coronavirus relief package, please visit our American Rescue Plan: What Does it Mean for You and a Third Stimulus Check blog post.

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      Mistakes happen even on tax returns. That’s why the IRS allows taxpayers to correct their tax returns if they discover an error on a return that’s already been filed. Here’s what you need to know about filing an amended tax return.

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      How Can I File An Amended Return

      To amend a tax return, you must file Form 1040X. The IRS began accepting electronically filed 1040X forms in summer 2020. Previously, you had to mail a paper 1040X to amend your return.

      Some online tax filing services can help you complete a 1040X that you can then print and mail. For example, if you filed your original return using the free filing service, you can use it to fill out the amended return. Then youll can print and mail the form.

      If youre used to e-filing your tax return, here are some tips for filing a paper 1040X:

      • Be sure to sign and date the form.
      • Attach any required forms that support your amendment to the 1040X. Check out the 1040X instructions for details on how to assemble your return because forms must go in a specific order when you attach them.
      • Make sure you explain the reason for amending the return on Form 1040X, Part III.
      • If you use software or an online service to prepare your 1040X, youll have to print a copy to mail. Its probably a good idea to print a second copy to keep for your records.

      If you find you need to amend multiple years of returns, youll need to file a separate 1040X for each year. You can check the status of your amended return online through the IRS Wheres My Amended Return tool.

      What If I’m Owed Money

      If you file your tax return and realize you’ve made a mistake, which results in a bigger refund than you calculated on your original tax return, sit tight and wait until your original return is processed and you receive the initial refund. Then you can file your amended return.

      If the IRS receives your amended return before it’s processed your original return, your amended return does not replace your original return. Each tax return stands on its own.

      The IRS will send you a check for any balance it owes you, based on your amended return, but you may have to wait up to three months to receive the check.

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      Disaster Victims Can Amend Return To Deduct Losses

      If you’re the victim of a hurricane, wildfire or other natural disaster, you might be able to file an amended return to claim a casualty loss deduction for the tax year before the disaster. Alternatively, you can claim the loss in the year of the disaster: Pick whichever year is more favorable to you. However, the loss must be attributable to a federally declared disaster that occurred in an area warranting public and/or individual assistance. Otherwise, this special rule doesn’t apply.

      If you decide to claim the loss for the year before the disaster, you must file your amended return no later than six months after the due date for filing your original return for the year in which the loss took place. So, for example, if the disaster occurred in 2020 and you want to claim your loss on your 2019 return, you must file an amended 2019 return by October 15, 2021.

      Also note that a casualty loss deduction is generally subject to a $100-per-casualty limit. It also can’t exceed 10% of your adjusted gross income, and you have to itemize to claim it.

      What If I Made A Mistake On My Tax Return

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      If you made a mistake on your tax return, its not the end of the world and it can be corrected. You just need to fix the error so it doesnt become an even larger issue like a tax lien or levy.

      • A lien occurs when the IRS assesses a tax debt or liability against you, and your spouse, and sends you a bill. Typically, it gets to a lien situation if you refuse to pay and a levy if you neglect or ignore the notice or simply refuse to enter into an agreement to pay the IRS.
      • A levy is a legal seizure of your property to satisfy a tax debt. A levy can take your property or property someone else holds for you such as wages, retirement accounts, bank accounts, etc., and in very rare circumstances, can even seize and sell your vehicle, real estate, and other personal property.

      If you amend your tax return and then owe the IRS more money, but dont have the funds to pay the bill, you can enter into an Installment Agreement with the IRS. This is a payment play thats typically divided into short and long-term categories.

      Don’t miss out on every credit and deduction you deserve!

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