If you realize you made a mistake on your income tax return, you have the opportunity to correct the return, even after it has been filed. This is done by filing Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. There are time restrictions and certain factors to take in to consideration before filing an Amended Return. In this series of articles, we will examine the different aspects of an Amended Return.
We will first provide you with an overview of amended returns. The first step is to determine if amending your return is the correct course of action. The requirement to amend your incorrect income tax return depends on the error that needs corrected. Generally, you should file an amended tax return to correct information that will change your tax calculations.
Reasons to amend a tax return include:
- Report your proper filing status
- Correct your reported income
- Make changes to your above-the-line deductions, standard deduction or itemized deduction
- Claim additional tax credit, recalculate the amount of the credit, or remove a credit you were not eligible for.
There are instances when filing a Form 1040X is not the recommended course of action. For instance, do not file Form 1040X if you are requesting a refund of penalties and interest or an addition to tax that you have already paid. Instead, file Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement. Also, if you are filing an injured spouse claim, file Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation, instead of Form 1040.
You should not file an amended return to correct math errors. The IRS computers typically check your math and will correct any errors in calculation.
Overall, filing an amended return is generally the best course of action to correct the amount of income, deductions, credits, filing status, or dependents on your previously filed income tax return. You can amend your return to claim tax benefits that will result in an additional tax refunds. You can also amend your return to remove deductions and credits that you were not entitled to.
Your tax preparer can provide you with more information regarding amendments to your income tax return. StrataTax, a San Diego consulting and tax services firm, is available year-round and will provide you with a free review of your previously filed tax returns. Our CPA and Former IRS Auditor is skilled at finding deductions and credits that other tax preparers and tax software miss. Call us at (858) 225-7720 to setup your free initial consultation or visit us at www.StrataTax.com for more information.
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