Posted by Daniel P Vigilante CPA and Profit Consultants

Filing an Amended Tax Return with the IRS in 5 Simple Steps

Filing an Amended Tax Return with the IRS in 5 Simple Steps

To file an amended tax return, you will need to fill the Internal Revenue Service Form 1040X (This is the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) and send it to the IRS. The tax code is pretty complicated, and there are changes from the 2018 Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. 

It is not new for people, especially small business owners, to have errors in their income tax return. However, it is not only a mistake that warrants filing an amended tax return. Getting to know that you qualify for some tax credit or deduction late can also make you file an amended tax return. The amended tax return provides Uncle Sam with new information on your income tax.

How to File an Amended Tax Return: 5 Easy Steps

We believe you already have your IRS Form 1040X. You should fill this and send it to Uncle Sam alongside other fresh supporting documents to back up your claim. Here are some tips to help you file the amended Return:

  1. Collate all Supporting Documents 

This involves the old tax return for the year you want to amend and other essential documents. In sending in your amended tax return, you need the original tax return as a reference. Forms like W-2 and other materials you didn't have when filing for the first time are pretty necessary.

  1. Collect Important Forms

For the section you want to amend, you should submit new forms, instead of sending an original tax return. You can access these forms from the IRS website alongside the tax forms from the other year.

  1. Complete Form 1040X

You also need to get Form 1040X from Uncle Sam with instructions on how to fill it. There is also a chance to answer why you are submitting an amended tax return. There are three columns in the 1040X form you must fill:

Column A: You input the values related to your income alongside the tax withheld from the original tax return

Column B: You input the net changes you have on your income and taxes (the differences between the original and amended filing)

  1. Review Your Amended Return

You want to cross check your amended tax return and be sure that the details and information you want to include are accurate. This involves the supporting forms and other documentation in support of the amendment.

  1. Mail the amended Return

The final step is to send in your amended tax return and other documents to the IRS. In case you owe Uncle Sam more money due to the amendment, it is a good idea to include the payment with your Return. This will help reduce penalties and possibly avoid fines.

When Should You File an Amended Tax Return?

Should you have an error in your submitted tax return, you might not have to file an amended tax return. The IRS, most of the time, will correct the mistake and inform you of any change they make. They can help people correct simple math errors, but huge errors that impact your tax obligations need an amendment.

You should file an amendment in case of the following:

  • You reported the wrong income.

  • You had more information after filing your tax.

  • The number of dependents you claimed is wrong.

  • The filing status you submitted is wrong.

  • You did not claim the necessary tax deductions or credit.

How Long Do You Have to File an Amended Tax Return?

From the time of filing the original tax return, you have three years to file an amended tax return with Form 1040 to access your tax return. You can also file it within two years of the date you paid the tax. Check Form 1040X as there are unique cases that allow you to submit Form 1040X beyond the 3-year deadline.

Can You File an Amended Tax Return Electronically?

You can only file an amended tax return the good old way – using paper. For people amending more than one tax return, be sure to have a separate Form 1040X every year. Also, you should mail every year's Return in a clear envelope. You should include any other necessary tax forms in the envelope.


Daniel P Vigilante CPA and Profit Consultants
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