How to Amend a Tax Return for a Prior Year
Tax returns can often be filed with incomplete or incorrect information, leading you to more tax trouble than you bargained for. If you filed early, you might have overlooked income from a temporary job or a side gig, only to get a 1099 or late W2 for the income earned.
Other filers may eventually realize that they were entitled to an extra deduction or exemption. The Internal Revenue Service routinely processes a significant number of amended returns each year and provides a specific form for changing the status of an earlier tax return.
Individual income tax returns filed with the IRS can be amended up to three years after the due date of the original return by filing IRS Form 1040X. However, we strongly suggest consulting a tax resolution professional to help with your amended return. They can often file multiple years of unfiled tax returns, help you settle for a fraction of what you owe, and at the very least save you a headache.
Note: If you know you’ll have outstanding tax debt and owe more than $10k to the IRS or state but can’t pay in full, contact our firm today. We help people find tax relief and sometimes settle their tax debt for a fraction of what’s owed.
How Amended Tax Returns Work
Returns containing simple math mistakes are usually corrected automatically and do not require an amended return. Filing an amended return should be considered after the filer realizes the need for a change in filing status, income, allowable deductions or credits. The statute of limitations generally allows three years for each filer to claim any tax benefit not included on a prior return.
An increase in reported income is likely to result in additional tax due, but an additional deduction or allowable tax credit could result in a refund.
Unreported income is a common oversight and it’s better to report your income than it is for the IRS to come after you and add penalties and interest to your tax debt.
Form 1040X is not eligible for electronic filing and must be mailed in, this is also why we recommend hiring a professional to do this for you. A separate Form 1040X is necessary for each year being amended, and each must be mailed in its own envelope to the address provided in the instructions.
The amended return essentially adds the corrections to the original return. There is a block of space on the form to explain all changes. The explanation for each line change should include the line number followed by a clear reason for the change. Lines that entail no change need no explanation. A copy of the original return itself should not be attached, but any added IRS forms must be included to support the changes. Any other supporting documents necessary to substantiate the amendment will also need to be attached.
It can take several weeks for the IRS to process an amended return. An amendment to the federal return might also require a change to the state tax return of the filer, especially if an increase in income is to be reported.
OWE BACK TAXES?
If you’re going to owe money to the IRS after filing your return, It’s important to note that only experienced firms like ours are able to handle tax debt cases since negotiating with the IRS requires specialized skills that often fall outside of the scope of most conventional accounting, tax, and tax law firms.
Our firm specializes in tax problem resolution. We have CPAs, EAs and attorneys who can represent you before the IRS. We serve clients virtually so don’t hesitate to reach out. If you want an expert tax resolution specialist who knows how to navigate the IRS maze, reach out to our firm and we’ll schedule a no-obligation confidential consultation to explain your options to permanently resolve your tax problem.