Monday, July 18, 2016

Tips on Filing an Amended Tax Return

By Grace Trueman

You may discover you made a mistake on your tax return. You can file an amended return if you need to fix an error. You can also amend your tax return to claim a tax credit or deduction. Here are tips from the IRS on amending your return:

1. When to amend. You should amend your tax return if you need to correct filing status, the number of dependents or total income. You should also amend your return to claim tax deductions or tax credits that you did not claim when you filed your original return. The instructions for Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, list more reasons to amend a return.

2. When NOT to amend. In some cases, you don’t need to amend your tax return. The IRS will make corrections, such as math errors, for you. If you didn’t include a required form or schedule, for example, the IRS will mail you a notice about the missing item.

3. Form 1040X. Use Form 1040X to amend a federal income tax return that you filed before. You must file it by paper; you cannot file it electronically. Make sure you check the box at the top of the form that shows which year you are amending. Form 1040X has three columns. Column A shows amounts from the original return. Column B shows the net increase or decrease for the amounts you are changing. Column C shows the corrected amounts. You should explain what you are changing and the reasons why on the back of the form.

4. When to file. To claim a refund file Form 1040X no more than three years from the date you filed your original tax return. You can also file it no more than two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later than the three-year rule.

5. Track your return. You can track the status of your amended tax return three weeks after you file with “Where’s My Amended Return?” This tool is available on IRS.gov or by phone at 866-464-2050.

If you have any questions, please contact Grace Trueman in our Troy, Mich. office at 248-433-7583.