If a taxpayer realizes they have made an error upon their tax return, they should file an amended return using a Form 1040-X, where they can correct any errors or omissions they may have made when filling out the details of the tax year in question.
In some cases, the taxpayer may not need to submit this form: if the IRS can see that a math error has been made upon the original tax return, they may correct the error and amend the taxes owed accordingly, notifying the taxpayer when they do so.
They may also write to the taxpayer and request any schedule or form which has not been supplied.
Should either of these scenarios occur, then the taxpayer is not required to amend their return with a 1040-X.
If the taxpayer receives a notice addressed from the IRS, then they must refer to the contact details included within the notice to settle the error with the IRS directly.
You must file an amended return if you have:
- Received another Form W-2 in the mail since your tax return submission, a corrected Form W-2, or have discovered another income statement which was not originally reported on the submitted tax return
- Received an additional Form 1099 since you tax return, or one which you did not include in your tax return, or if you have received a corrected Form 1099 which was not included on the original tax return
- Claimed dependents on your tax return which you now realize you should not have claimed
- Not claimed dependents on your tax return, which you now realize that you could have claimed
- Used an incorrect filing status and need to amend it
What Is The Time Limit To File An Amended Tax Return For A Refund?
A statute of limitations exists on claiming a refund with an amended tax return. This means that if you apply for a refund after this time limit, you will not be entitled to claim this money.
If a refund is to be expected by a taxpayer if they have submitted an amended return, this it must be filed within three years of the date the original tax return was due, or within two years of whenever the taxpayer paid the tax on this return.
Whichever date comes later is the final date that the taxpayer may claim for the refund.
If the taxpayer filed the return prior to the due date of the return, then the return is considered filed upon the due date.
The time period for claiming the refund will be suspended should a taxpayer become ‘financially disabled’ as a consequence of a physical or mental condition which is medically-determined.
‘Financial disability’ is a very rare status for a taxpayer, and its full definition should be fully considered before application.
Notable exceptions exist to the accepted three-year statute of limitations: The taxpayer is allowed a longer period of time to claim upon a loss via a bad debt or a worthless security, or for a tax credit or deduction from a foreign country.
If you believe that the taxpayer in question may qualify for an exception to the usual three-year statute of limitations, then they should be referred to a professional tax-preparer for confirmation.
What If A Taxpayer Is Due A Refund On Their Amended Tax Return?
If upon the amended tax return you are indicating that the taxpayer will be due a refund, you must consider the following:
- Prior to sending your amended return through the mail, the taxpayer must be sure that they have waited for the original return to have been fully processed.
- The taxpayer is still able to cash the original refund’s check, even if they are still upon additional funds from an amended refund.
- Interest on the claim may be paid if the claim has not been processed in 45 days of the due date of the return having passed.
- 8-16 weeks is the general amount of time that it takes to process any amendments to a tax return.
What If The Taxpayer Owes Money On The Amended Return?
If it is clear from your amended tax return that the taxpayer now owes money, the taxpayer must file the Form 1040-X and pay the full amount owed by the due date in April in order to avoid any interest and penalties incurred.
If the taxpayer is unable to pay the amount owed by the April due date then the must file their amended tax return regardless.
Taxpayers must pay as much of what they owe as they can to the IRS within the limited time, as the IRS will use the amended tax return to calculate and then charge interest on the total amount of tax still owed.
They offer different forms of payment options depending on the taxpayer’s financial situation.
What Is An Amended Return Status?
If you wish to check the progress of your amended return then you can use the Where’s My Amended Return?
Online tool or the toll-free telephone number 866-464-2050 to determine how far it has come. You can only do this three weeks after you file the amended return.
To do so, simply enter your taxpayer id number, which may also be your Social Security number, as well as your date of birth and ZIP code in order to prove your identity.
After all of this has been authenticated, you will able to navigate the system to determine the status of your amended tax return.
Amended returns may take as long as 16 week to process, and as much as three weeks from the date which you mailed them to even register within the IRS system.
There is no need to contact the IRS unless specifically instructed to.