Have you made mistakes in your tax return, and you are worried about how to fix it? Have you realized that you filled something out wrong, and you need to correct it?
Have you noticed that you have missed a credit or tax deduction and want to make sure to include it?
In all of these cases the best thing to do is to file an amended tax return to make sure that the correction is noted.
While this may sound like it could be a difficult or awkward process since you are fixing a mistake you have already made, luckily this is not the case and filing your amended tax return is a relatively straightforward process.
The form which you have to use to go about amending your tax return is the Form 1040-X and once you have filled this out amending your tax return should be easy!
This guide will go through the reasons why you might need to amend your tax return and then a step by step on how to do this.
If you need to amend a tax return or think you will need to in the future, keep reading to find out how!
When You Should File An Amended Tax Return?
There are a few different situations you can get in where filing an amended tax return feels like it is what you should do but you are not sure if it is the right situation.
Some of the most common reasons why you should be filing an amended tax return are:
- When you realize after filing that you have missed claiming a deduction or a credit from your tax return.
- When you realize that you have accidentally claimed in the wrong tax filing status.
- When you have incorrectly noted dependents and need to remove or add one.
- When you have forgotten to claim your taxable income in the tax return.
- When you realize that you have claimed a deduction or expense that you were not eligible to claim.
If you have noticed a mistake in the mathematics or a clerical error, these do not need to be amended by you, and in most cases the IRS should be able to correct those mistakes themselves.
If it is necessary, the IRS might mail you a bill making it, so you have to pay extra tax because of an error you made in the mathematics of your original return.
When you decide that it is necessary for you to file an amended tax return, ensure that the IRS have already finished processing the tax return which you are aiming to amend.
This is to make sure that the IRS will not have any chance of mixing up the original and your amended return.
The best way to know if the IRS have already gotten your tax return is if you have received a tax refund.
So while these are all the good reasons why you should be filing an amended return, there are some factors to think about that limit this possibility.
You will have to file your amended tax return within 3 years of the filing deadline.
You will have to file within 2 years of paying this tax which will be due on that year if you have not reached that date yet.
If you are beyond any of these 2 points, you are unable and ineligible to file an amended return.
How To File The Amended Tax Return
This is a simple process but make sure to read all these steps carefully, so you do not miss anything important!
1 – Collect The Documents You Need
You will need to get the original tax return as well as new documents which you need for filing an amended return.
Whether you have to correct your income you will need to file a 1099 or W-2 form. Whether you missed a credit or deduction you will need documentation for supporting this.
This can include receipts for certain purchases, a Form 1098 for a mortgage interest statement, or a Form 1098-T for an educational credit.
Whether you do not have a copy of your tax return you will be able to get one from the IRS government website utilizing the Get Transcript tool.
2 – Collect The Correct Forms
The main form needed for changing a tax return is the Form 1040-X, but you will also need any of the forms that are going to be needed for changing details on the form.
Depending on what details you are changing you will need an updated copy of the Schedule which impacts it.
An example, if someone is changing itemized deductions they will need a new copy of Schedule A.
Once you are comfortable that you have got all the documents you need for what you need to change you can move to the next step.
3 – Fill In Form 1040-X
This form has 3 columns which need to be filled.
Column A will have the previously reported detail from your tax return, and you will use your copy of your tax return to fill this out.
Column B will make you fill out how much you will need to decrease or increase from your original return. Make sure you have correctly calculated the amount.
Column C will show the correct number needed and is done by a simple calculation of both column A and then B.
You will also be required in part 3 of the form to give a simple statement on why you are doing an amended return.
4 – Submit The Forms
If the return is from after 2019 you can now file the amended return online, before 2018 you would have to print off the document to return it, but the window for doing this has now passed.
You will want to make sure to attach all the supporting documents needed and note any information given by the IRS on any extra steps you may need to fill out based on certain circumstances.