10 Things You Should Know About Amended Tax Returns

We are all human and we make mistakes, and that goes for doing taxes as well. If you find that there is a problem with your return after you file, don’t worry, you have the opportunity to fix it by filing Form 1040X, an amended tax return. According to the IRS, here are the top 10 things that you and every other taxpayer should know about amending your federal tax return:

  1. Taxpayers needing to amend their return use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.
  2. Taxpayers can use Form 1040X to correct previously filed Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. The 1040X can also be used to correct a return filed electronically.
  3. Taxpayers should file an amended return if they discover any of the following items were reported incorrectly: filing status, dependents, total income, deductions or credits.
  4. Generally, you do not need to file an amended return for math errors as the IRS will be ale to make the correction for you.
  5. You also do not usually need to file an amended return because you forgot to include forms – such as W-2s or schedules – when you filed; the IRS normally requests those forms from you.
  6. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Generally, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  7. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes to the IRS processing center for the area in which you live. The 1040X instructions list the addresses for the centers.
  8. If the changes involve another schedule or form, attach it to the 1040X.
  9. If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund.
  10. If you owe additional tax for 2008, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return, without regard to extensions.

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