As per the IRS, filing an amended return allows you to make corrections to your original return, such as changes to your income, deductions, credits or filing status. You usually don’t need to file an amended return if you’ve made a calculation error as the IRS automatically corrects any mathematical area. If you forgot to attach a tax form, like a schedule or W-2, you don’t need to file an amended return either as the IRS will send a request asking for the form if it’s necessary.
If you do need to file an amended return, the IRS requires sending in a paper return along with a copy of the original return, which is then processed manually. Going to a tax CPA for this is generally recommended as it may help prevent you from being audited. Amended returns have an increased risk of being audited. A CPA specializing in tax issues can help you to make the corrections and look over your originally filed return to see if there may be additional errors, possibly even saving you some money.
Many people don’t realize or forget that amending their federal returns means they’ll also need to amend their state tax return. This requires looking into your specific state’s laws and following the instructions in order to make sure it’s handled correctly, but by contacting a tax CPA, he or she can help you to file amended federal and state return, making the entire process a whole lot easier.
Whether or not you choose to visit with a tax CPA, a form 1040X is required for filling your amended federal return. This is used to correct previously filed forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. The amended return must be filed within three years of the date the original return was filed, or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later, according to the IRS.
If you need to amend more than one tax return, a 1040X will need to be prepared for each year, and mailed in separate envelopes to the appropriate address listed on the instruction. It’s also important to include the year that you’re filing on the top of the form as it can be used for multiple years.