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The Thomas Howell Ferguson Blog

Tips for Taxpayers Who Have to Amend a Tax Return

If you have discovered you made mistakes or omissions on your tax return, you can correct them by filing an amended tax return. If you need to amend, you should remember these tips:

  • File using paper form. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct the tax return. You can’t file amended returns electronically.
  • Amend to correct errors. File an amended tax return to correct errors or make changes to an original tax return; for example, you should amend to change your filing status or to correct your income, deductions, or credits.
  • Don’t amend for math errors or missing forms. You generally don’t need to file an amended return to correct math errors on their original return. In addition, you don’t need to file an amended return if you forgot to attach tax forms, such as a Form W-2 or a schedule.
  • File within three-year time limit. You usually have three years from the date you filed the original tax return to file Form 1040X to claim a refund. You can file it within two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later.
  • Use separate forms for each year. Those who are amending more than one tax return must file a Form 1040X for each tax year. You should mail each year’s Form 1040X in separate envelopes to avoid confusion. You should check the box for the calendar year or enter the other calendar year or fiscal year you are amending. The form’s instructions have the mailing address for the amended return.
  • Attach other forms with changes. Those who use other forms or schedules to make changes must attach them to the Form 1040X.
  • Wait to file for corrected refund for tax year 2017. Those who are due refunds from their original tax year 2017 return should wait to get it before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund. Amended returns may take up to 16 weeks to process.
  • Pay additional tax. Those who will owe more tax should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest.
  • Track amended return. Generally, you can track the status of your amended tax return three weeks after they file, using “Where’s My Amended Return?”  The tool can track the status of an amended return for the current year and up to three previous years. Those who have filed amended returns for multiple years can check each year, one at a time.

For more information on how to amend your tax return, always consult a Certified Public Accountant.  Submitted by: Dennis Gallant, Senior Manager, Tax Service, Thomas Howell Ferguson P.A. CPAs.  To ask Dennis a question, contact him here.

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