Monday, July 29, 2013

What You Should Know About Filing an Amended Tax Return

If you have already filed your tax return but realize later that it had an error, there is no need to panic. You still have a chance to correct the mistake by filing an amended tax return. The following are some things you should be aware of about filing amended tax returns:
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  • Amended returns cannot be done online, but only on paper. To file an amended tax return, you will use Form 1040X. Make sure that you indicate the year of the return you wish to amend.
  • Don’t file an amended tax return simply to fix math mistakes or to not attach your W-2 or other forms to the return if you did not do so originally. The IRS automatically fixes math errors for you and they will send you a letter requesting any relevant forms that you did not attach to the original return; you don’t have to file an amended return just to attach documents.
  • If you have more than one tax return to amend, prepare a separate form for each return and mail them in separate envelopes.
  • If you end up owing extra taxes after filling in the Form 1040X, you will need to pay the extra tax as soon as you can so as to avoid penalties and interests.
  • If your income, filing status, credits, or deductions have changed, then you will need to file an amended tax return. Furthermore, attach the required form or schedule if the changes you are making require them to be there.
  • If you plan to file an amended tax return for the purpose of claiming an additional refund, you will have to wait to get the original refund before preparing your Form 1040X.

The IRS has a tool called ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ which you can use to keep track of the status of your amended tax return. This tool can be found in English and Spanish on the IRS website or by simply calling the IRS hotline. You can begin tracking the status of your return three weeks after you have filed. You can monitor the status of your amended return up to three prior years and the present year as well.
If you choose to use this tool via phone, you will have to call a specific IRS number, depending on what the tool instructs you to do. When using it online, all you need to do is indicate your date of birth, Tax Identification number (your Social Security number) and zip code. If you filed amended returns for over one year, you can keep track of the status of each return individually.

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