If you realize that you’ve made errors on your tax return, you may be able to file an amended return to fix these issues. There are many steps to correcting tax errors, including updating the filing status and addressing corrections of credit, deductions, and income. Here are five things to know when trying to amend your tax return.
1. How to File
The standard form for an amended tax return is the Form 1040-X. Send it to the address posted on the instruction page. If you happen to be filling out an amended return in response to the IRS, mail in the form using the address listed on the IRS notice.
If you have not received the refund from your initial return, wait until you receive this before submitting an amended return. As part of your solid financial plan, you can cash the refund from the original before receiving another refund. To track your amended tax return status, wait until three weeks have passed since mailing it. It can take up to sixteen weeks for processing.
If you included different schedules or IRS forms to note your changes, make sure to attach these forms to the amended tax return.
2. When Not to File
You may think you need to complete an amended tax return if you’ve made mathematical errors, but this is not so. Taxpayers do not need to make these changes to know where their money goes; the IRS will make the corrections as needed.
If a taxpayer failed to include a particular form or schedule required, the taxpayer should wait for a notice in the mail rather than sending out an amended tax form on their own. The IRS will send a request if this form is missing.
3. Filing in Special Circumstances
Keep in mind that if you are behind in your amended tax forms, you’ll need to include a separate form for each missed tax year. Be sure to track every document, as each must be mailed in its own envelope.
In most cases, to claim a refund you must file the form within three years of the date you completed your initial tax return or within the two-year period since the date the tax was paid to claim a refund.
If you realize that you’ve made a mistake on your tax return the next day after filing, you can file a superseding return instead of the amended return form. This form treats the second return as the original.
4. Why You Should File
The main reasons you might need to file an amended return include changes to the filing status of your earnings, tax credits, forgotten dependents, and unlisted exemptions, including evidence of poverty.
If you are just starting out on becoming financially independent, you may not know that if you are missing a form like a W-2, you do not need to file an amended form. The IRS will take care of these issues and request additional forms from you if necessary.
5. Follow the Protocols
For your amended tax return to be accepted, be sure that you have listed the same tax year for your forms and schedules as you did for your tax return. In addition to the original tax return, you must also include a written explanation for why you need to amend your tax return.
The Bottom Line
Filing an amended tax return is not difficult, but there are specific rules to follow to do it successfully. Review the guidelines in this article to ensure that your tax return changes are taken care of the right way.