How do I file an amendment on my tax return? This question is often asked when a taxpayer discovers a discrepancy in a previous return or is perhaps made aware of a tax law that may change the outcome of taxes owed or paid out. Once the section of the tax return that needs to be amended has been identified, you must take five steps in order to file an amendment with the IRS.
1. Print out the Form 1040X, which is the amended individual income tax form for US citizens. This is the document that is used to amend a previously filed 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ.
2. Clearly identify which tax year the form is amending. An amendment can be filed within three years of the original tax return, including any extensions granted. If you are amending more than one tax year, each year must have its own Form 1040X.
3. Fill out the Form 1040X, and recalculate the taxes owed or refund received. Get income tax help if your situation is complicated so you don't have to amend the amendment later. If you owe more taxes, pay it immediately to avoid any further penalty and interest amounts. If you are owed money, the IRS will process the amendment and issue a check to you for the amount.
4. Send each 1040X form in its own envelope to the required address. Expect the process to take approximately six weeks.
5. Keep copies of the amendment with the original tax documentation for that tax year.
Reasons To Amend A Tax Return
Some of the reasons to amend a tax return are if the filing status, social security numbers, personal information, dependents, full income, itemized deductions or credits were reported in error. Also, if some important piece of information was left out of the original tax return, an amendment can add it into the calculations. You shouldn't amend a tax return for a math error, misplaced attachments or forms or incorrectly filled out paperwork. Generally, the IRS will catch that and let you know what is needed to make your tax return correct and current.
While we all need to pay our taxes, you shouldn't pay more than you actually owe. Understanding a few basic income tax tips can greatly lower your tax liability. You can claim a number of tax deductions in order to lower the actual amount of tax you pay. However, you should be aware of issues such as raises and the alternative minimum tax (AMT), which may alter your income tax analysis.
Nearly 75 percent of Americans receive a tax return each year, with each return averaging nearly $2,500. That's a nice windfall for most of us but that doesn't mean you should run out and spend it like it's burning a hole in your pocket.
Use our checklist as a guide to help you gather necessary forms and receipts for preparing your income tax return.