Do You Need to File an Amended Return?

Amended return

Sometimes, despite double-checking, you make a mistake on your tax return. You forget that your grandmother who now lives with you could be claimed as a dependent. Circumstances change, and so does our tax situation. Luckily the IRS has provided a way to file a corrected return after your original was already sent to them. Filing an amended return is easier than you think. 

What is an amended return? 

An amended tax return is separate from your original return. If you realize that the return you submitted contains mistakes, the amended return allows you to make the necessary corrections. For example, if you misreported credits, deductions, or earnings, you would submit an amended return with the accurate facts and figures. Mathematical mistakes, on the other hand, are automatically corrected by the IRS.  

Why would I need to file an amended return? 

There are several reasons to file an amended return.  

  • You realize you owe more taxes than you paid. 
  • You did not report the correct income for the year. 
  • Your filing status changed or was incorrectly reported the first time. 
  • You did not claim the correct number of dependents. 
  • You did not claim tax credits or deductions. 
  • You claimed the wrong tax credits or deductions. 

You won’t need to file an amended return for mathematical or clerical errors. Typically, the IRS will find and make these corrections automatically. The IRS will mail a notice to inform you of the changes made to the return. Depending on the result of the correction, you may receive a check in the mail for the additional refund due to you or a bill for the increase in tax liability owed.    

How do I file an amended return? 

In 2020, the IRS began allowing taxpayers to file amended returns electronically. To file an amended return, you’ll fill out a new Form 1040, and then fill out Form 1040X. TaxSlayer makes it easy to complete and submit an amended tax return electronically. Simply log in or create a free account to begin.  

How long does it take to process an amended return? 

It usually takes up to 20 weeks to process an amended return whether the return is paper filed or electronically filed. It is important that you pay attention to the details, though. If you fail to sign or fill out any part of the document, it could take even longer to process.   

What is the IRS statute of limitations? 

A statute of limitations is a law that places a time limit on how long the IRS has to issue a refund check. If you are filing an amended return and you are owed a refund check, you must submit the amendment within three years after you submitted your original return. Otherwise, you forfeit your refund. After three years, the only exception to this rule is receiving a refund for overpaid taxes.  

How do I check the status of my amended return? 

Use this tool from the IRS or call 866-464-2050 three weeks after you file. Have your taxpayer id number, date of birth, and zip code on hand to prove your identity. Your status will either be “Received”, “Adjusted”, or “Completed”.  

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