Posted by Advantage Tax Services, Inc.

How Many Years Back Can You Amend Your Tax Returns?

How Many Years Back Can You Amend Your Tax Returns?

Unless you hire an experienced tax professional to take care of your tax returns, you’re likely to make mistakes on filing your own federal returns each year. The IRS recognizes this which is why they usually help out by correcting the taxpayer and providing a correspondence that states the changes made. However, there are some cases where you may have unwittingly forgotten to include some incomes in your filing, or you made changes to the credits you claimed and your filing status. You will then need to amend your return in order to avoid tax penalties.

Your mistakes are being corrected through filing an amended tax return. The IRS provides Form 1040X to give you a second chance to get things right. The response usually takes a long time so may feel bored and frustrated while waiting to know the status of your amended return. It can generally take up to 16 weeks from the day your amended return was received by the IRS for it to be processed, and it may take 3 weeks for it to shop up in the IRS system from the day you mailed it.

Correcting Your Mistakes Has a Deadline

Even though the IRS gives you another chance to correct your mistakes in your tax returns, you will still need to adhere to the given deadline. You can file for amended returns three years from the date that the original tax return was due. Make sure you indicate the year of the tax return that you are amending at the top of the new Form 1040X that the IRS sent you. Your amendment must come within three years of your original return according to the IRS. 

For example: The due date of your return was February 26, 2013, the IRS will require you to file a Form 1040X for 2012 until February 26, 2016. When it comes to you, making a tax payment after you filed the return, the IRS will give you a deadline for two years from the day of your payment, assuming that would be later.

File Your Taxes As Soon as Possible

The American people can all agree that tax time is not a very enjoyable time of the year. However, filing taxes is an obligation everyone must fulfill each year or consequences will be faced. There are several ways of filing taxes that most people will find easier to do. You have the option to file taxes through online or file through the paper. Here are some of the options you can try when you file your taxes this year:

  • If your earnings are below $54,000, file your tax for free online at the IRS website..
  • Get the forms from the IRS website, print them out, and send them to the IRS office.
  • Pay for the services of a professional tax consultant and file a tax form.
  • File your taxes with the help of a professional accountant.
  • If you believe that your case is a difficult one or you are late in filing your returns, visit a tax attorney or a tax agent.
  • Try using online programs such as Turbo Tax to file a hard copy of your returns.
  • File and send your returns to the IRS yourself if you enough knowledge in doing it.

Depending on your individual situation, you will find any of the above ways suitable when filing your tax returns this year. For people whose situation is harder than usual, it is best to file tax returns with the held of a qualified tax preparer.

Amending a Tax Return Online

You can correct your filing status, total income, claimed dependents, tax deductions, or tax credits once you file to amend your tax returns. The IRS computers will fix the aforementioned errors and consider at as incorrect math in your tax figures and send you the corrections since. This means you no longer have to file an amendment.

Filing tax returns using Form 1040X however cannot be filed online. You can fill out the paperwork by using a tax preparer software but you will still need to submit the paper manually to the IRS.

The most important tip is to carefully check your returns before submitting them. Double checking may be a bit of a hassle but at least it won't cost you more time and money correcting any possible mistakes and dealing with the IRS in the future.

Advantage Tax Services, Inc.
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