Important Things You Need To Know About Amended Tax Returns
Everybody makes mistakes, even on tax returns. Filing an amended return isn't necessarily difficult but there are a couple of steps that you should be aware of before you begin the process. Form 1040-X, the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return will be the main form that is used to file amended returns.
Make sure the IRS has already processed your tax return before you update and file your amended return. That way, you can be sure the IRS won't mix up your original and amended returns. If you happen to receive your tax refund already, there's no doubt that your return has been handled by the IRS and already processed your return.
Benefits Of Filing An Amended Return
By filing Form 1040-X for an amended return, you may be able to receive an additional tax refund or owe any additional taxes as a result of any revisions that were made. An amended return can provide significant benefits such as claiming any unclaimed tax credits, taking any deductions, and reporting any additional income or withholdings. If you find any mathematical errors on your recently filed tax return, you won't need to file an amended return because the IRS will often correct these clerical mistakes and will send you a bill for the additional tax that is owed or send a refund if there was an error in your favor.
What You Need To Look For Before Filing
It's good to practice going over your completed original tax return when you're looking forward to filing an amended tax return. Look for deductions, credits, exemptions, income, and withholdings because this way, you can end up owing less money or receive a larger refund.
How To File An Amended Return
Filing an amended return is a very direct process. There are a couple of steps that you need to follow to ensure the process goes smoothly on your end.
Gather Your Documents
To prepare for your amended return, you must gather your original tax return and any new documents that you'll need. You may need a new or amended W-2 or 1099 form if you need to adjust the income you reported on your new tax return. You'll also need to provide documentation to support the new deduction(s) you're claiming.
Get The Appropriate Forms
Form 1040-X is the IRS form for amending a return. You'll also need any paperwork that will be impacted by your changes. If you want to change your itemized deductions, for example, you'll need a copy of Schedule A for that tax year. A copy of Schedule B is required to amend your tax return to include additional interest or dividend income. Changes in a trade or business's revenues or expenses will require Schedule C and Schedule SE. Form 8949 and Schedule D will be required to update your capital gains and losses.
Filing Form 1040-X, The Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
Form 1040-X contains three columns. In column A, you would need to provide the original amount for tax liability, income and deductions, payments, and refunds you owe that were reported on your original tax return. In column B, it will show you how the amounts from your original return need to increase or decrease. In column C, this will show the correct amount by adding the amounts from column A and column B and the results should be inputted here in column C.
Submit Your Amended Forms
At the beginning of the 2019 tax year, the IRS officially allowed taxpayers to e-file amended tax returns. It's important to attach any important and supporting documents that would help your amended form such as any new or amended W-2s or 1099 forms, the IRS will normally request those forms from you and other forms or schedules that changed, such as Schedule A if you updated your itemized deductions, and your CP2000 notice if you're amending your tax return because of a notice you received from the IRS.
Track Your Amended Return Status
You should allow Form 1040-X to be processed within 8-12 weeks. However, processing could take up to 16 weeks in rare situations. If you file your amended return electronically, you can use the Where's My Amended Return? online tool to check the status of your amended return. It may take up to three weeks for it to appear in the IRS system if you chose to file through paper mail. In order to track your status, you will need to provide your TIN/SSN, your birthdate, and your zip code or postal code.
Resolve Your Tax Bills
If you've found yourself in a nasty mess with the IRS, take a deep breath. Unpaid back taxes may be the biggest issue that taxpayers face, but the resolution may be very simple. For taxpayers who may have difficulty paying off an excessive amount of tax debt, there's a relief program that consolidates many major relief programs into a one-size-fits-all assistance program; The IRS Fresh Start Program.
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