The IRS estimates that it doesn’t receive 15% of what it’s owed as a result of underreported income, filing errors, and other reasons.
The issue of filing errors, at least, can be rectified by a tax amendment. But before logging onto the IRS website to get a form for a simple clerical error, you should know a bit more about how these work.
A tax amendment is only filed for certain types of errors. There’s also a timeline on how long you have to file an amended tax return. For details on these guidelines and more, keep reading this quick guide to tax amendment.
Why Would You Make a Tax Amendment?
Mathematical or clerical errors on your tax return do not require a tax amendment. The IRS actually fixes these minor mistakes for you if they find them.
You also don’t need to file a tax amendment if you forgot to send a form or schedule along with your tax return. The IRS will reach out to you via mail if they require any additional documents or information.
So when do you file an amended tax return? If you need to make changes to your filing status or income. You would also file an amended tax return if you need to claim a deduction or credit that was missed or if your employer changed your tax liability.
When Can You Make a Tax Amendment?
If you need to make any of the above changes, you’ll need to know how far back can you amend your taxes. There are deadlines on filing an amended tax return for refunds.
That deadline is three years from the original filing date of the return or two years from when you paid the tax. That timeline also includes elected extensions.
How to Amend Taxes
Amended tax returns can now be filed electronically. Collect any documents you might need and access Form 1040-X online.
Amended tax returns for 2019 or earlier still require you to print and mail the form to the IRS. You’ll also need to print and mail forms for changing your reported Social Security number or filing status. Clients of tax companies such as H&R Block can find instructions to file an amendment on their customer account.
In the case that you find a mistake and the filing deadline hasn’t yet passed, you don’t need to file a tax amendment. In this case, you’ll need a “superseding return” form. These cannot be filed online.
More Financial Help and Advice
A tax amendment should be filed when you make a mistake regarding your filing status, income, tax liability, or qualification for a deduction or credit. You’ll have to file your amended tax return within the deadline but they’re easy to access and file electronically on the IRS website.
For more financial help and advice like this, visit our Finance section regularly.