Ever wondered what you would do if after filing your taxes you realized that you missed a deduction, didn’t correctly interpret a tax law change that impacted you, or simply made a mistake? The IRS offers a solution for both personal and business tax returns which allows taxpayers to fix their originally filed return by filing an amended one. The amended return generally needs to be filed within three years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return. If you filed your return prior to April 15th it will be considered filed on April 15th regardless of when it was received by the IRS. However, if you extended your return it will be the date you actually filed your return.
The items that can be amended on your return are, among other things, virtually all income and deductions, tax credits, dependents, filing status, certain elections, previous changes by the IRS, and the use of a carryback of a loss or unused credit.
For individuals, this is done by filing form 1040X which is only two pages long. However, you need to recalculate your entire return in order to complete this form. It is a summary of your changes and calculations as well as provides a brief summary of the reasons for amending your personal return. You are also required to attach any schedules or statements that have been changed from the original filing. The IRS does not require you to attach your originally filed return.
Unfortunately, at this time the IRS is not accepting amended returns in their electronic file system, so amended returns need to be mailed. If you are amending multiple returns they need to be mailed in separate envelopes to the appropriate IRS center.
To monitor the status of your amended return visit www.irs.gov and click on “Where’s my Amended Return”, or you can call 1-866-464-2050. Generally, it takes 8 to 12 weeks to for amended returns to be processed, though it sometimes takes longer due to the potential benefits many firms offer a free review of recently filed tax returns. Though not typical, our office has handled cases where taxpayers are refunded tens of thousands of dollars in taxes that were overpaid on originally filed returns, and better yet, IRS even adds interest to those refunds.
Please remember these are general rules and you should always speak with your trusted advisors about your particular situation.
Brian is a CPA at Gamwell Caputo Kelsch & Co., PLLC in Conway, NH and can be reached at 603-447-3356. Brian welcomes any article feedback or questions for future article consideration.