Step-by-Step Guide to Amending a Tax Return

Amending tax return filings may feel daunting, but it’s not something to be afraid of. People make mistakes, and the IRS understands that. It is possible to amend a tax return without any concerns over fines or other penalties, as the IRS makes it a relatively simple process to amend taxes.

If you discover a mistake on your return or your circumstances suddenly change, you must act as quickly as possible. Correcting your returns early gives you peace of mind and ensures that you don’t find yourself facing an unnecessary audit later.

Can I Amend My Tax Return?

Anyone can alter their tax return after submitting it to the IRS. Perhaps you failed to claim a tax deduction, your filing status has changed, or you forgot to declare a second stream of income.

Amending tax return filings typically begins with IRS Form 1040X. You may use this form if you previously filed your taxes using Form 1040 or Form 1040SR. Other filers will need to look at other avenues when amending tax returns.

You may make amendments for multiple years simultaneously, but you will need a separate 1040X for each. If you didn’t take the standard deduction, you should also attach copies of any schedules included with your original filing.

Will Filing Amendments Increase My Risk of Being Audited?

Some taxpayers worry that filing amendments will open them up to auditing from the IRS. The idea that amending a tax return opens you up to an enhanced auditing risk is a myth. There is no evidence demonstrating that the IRS is more likely to audit someone who files an amendment than someone filing an initial return. In reality, they simply want accurate information from you.

When Do I Need to Amend a Tax Return?

There are several reasons why you may want to look into amending your taxes. Some of the most common reasons taxpayers need to make changes include:

You are not required to file an amended tax return if you made a mathematical error or forgot to attach a schedule. With the former, the IRS will rectify any calculation error. The IRS will send a letter to you if they need you to fill out and submit a schedule when it comes to the latter.

Unfortunately, working out when to amend a tax return is not always straightforward. Different rules apply to different situations. For example, if you want to obtain a refund, you must file within three years of the filing date of the original term, or within two years of the date, you paid any tax due.

If filing because of bad debt, you have up to seven years following your original tax return’s due date to submit any alterations.

Understanding when to amend a tax return can be confusing, which is why it’s always recommended that you seek professional assistance.

How to Amend a Tax Return

Before we get into the steps for amending a tax return, let’s answer one of the most common questions about this process: how much does it cost to amend a tax return? There are no fines, penalties, or charges levied on these filings. If submitting a printed 1040X, you will be required to cover the postage fees. However, the IRS allows you to submit 1040X digitally.

Now, let’s get into how to amend a tax return.

Step One – Review Your Original Return

Amending tax return filings is your opportunity to comb through your return all over again. Don’t just look at the things you know are wrong. Take the time to review your original return in full. Go through the math again and ensure everything that needs to be included is there.

Step Two – Include All the Necessary Documentation

The IRS needs several documents when amending taxes. You will need to include not just your completed Form 1040X, but a copy of your original tax return as well.

Depending on the changes you have made, you will also need to include other documents, such as:

If your tax returns are exceedingly complex, such as if you are also a business owner or have several investments, it’s well worth enlisting a professional to support you.

Step Three – File All Your Documents

The IRS is encouraging taxpayers to use the e-filing service. There are no charges for filing online, and you can track the progress of your tax return. Furthermore, you guarantee that the IRS receives your amendments instantly.

Leave it to the Professionals at Porte Brown

Amending tax return filings may be daunting, but the IRS wants you to get your tax returns right. You’ll make their lives easier, and it demonstrates that you’re taking your taxes seriously. See it as an opportunity to make sure you have claimed every credit and deduction you’re entitled to.

Make sure you minimize any taxes owed and maximize your refund with the help of Porte Brown. Our experienced accounting firm in Chicago wields years of experience and is committed to providing exceptional service to our clients. Contact us today for more information.

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