When to Submit an Amended Tax Return

When to Submit an Amended Tax Return

What do you do when you have already filed your 2009 income tax return, and then discover more income or expenses that you should have claimed/reported on your Form 1040. Obviously if it's going to net you a bigger income tax refund, you need no prompting to want to get moving on that right away. However, even if it's going to ultimately lower your net refund, it's more than a good idea to make sure you're square with Uncle Sam-'I didn't realize' doesn't get you out of prison. So, when you realize your previously submitted 1040 information is incorrect in either direction, you need to file an amended return. There is a specific paper form that you need to obtain, fill out properly and submit via snail mail to the IRS. Amended income tax forms cannot be filed electronically.

First, the form you will need to obtain is a 1040X-Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Don't panic if it takes you a while to get your information gathered and the amended return filed correctly, Uncle Sam isn't going to come for you tomorrow. You have three years from the date you originally filed your tax return to have the amended return filed with the IRS. In this instance, the date you file with the IRS is considered the last available date to file of that tax year (not the date you actually mailed the tax return). I.E., if you are amending a 2009 tax return, you have until April 15, 2012 to file the amended return.

The 1040X amended tax return form can be used to correct a mistake, or claim a refund on the original income tax return. For example, if you failed to report some income, which frequently happens when you receive a 1099 form after you have filed your 1040. Also if you have claimed deductions or credits you should not have claimed, or vice versa. If you need to change your filing status on your original tax return, you will also need to file an amended return, although some stipulations apply here.

In order to complete Form 1040X, you will need your original tax information and all pertinent documents. Information you will need to write in includes your original income, deductions, and any credits taken on your original tax return. On this form you will also report the changes you are making, and any correct amounts. Finally, you need to figure your new tax based on the new figures you are submitting. If you owe any additional taxes due to the previous oversight, include your additional tax payment with the amended return. If you are owed money by the government, it will most likely be issued to you concurrent with your tax refund from the current year.

Article written by: Letty G.

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