1040X Amended Tax Return
Many of us have an aversion to taxes, and some of us fear taxes and tax returns. So we either try to handle it quickly through online software or work with certified professional tax professionals who handle filling out the forms for us. Yet sometimes we feel as if we rushed the return and there may have been some error. Regardless of what that error is, there’s a way to correct it by promptly filing an IRS form 1040X Amended Tax Return.
How long after filing can I use the 1040X Amended Tax Return form?
The best part about this form is that this can happen after the fact and for quite some time. That means you have up to three years from the date you filed the return you’re looking to amend. If there was an actual tax payment and you believe that it was an overpayment, then you may just have two years to file Form 1040X. However, it’s usually whichever one gives you more time.
As with anything related to the tax return and with the IRS, it’s always a good idea to reconfirm this every year as it is subject to change. There’s also the possibility of extending those three years, especially if the filer has a disability and under other circumstances.
Remember that this is just for personal tax returns, and those looking for items related to small businesses would need to look for different types of forms.
Why would anyone need to file a Form 1040X?
The primary reason to file an amendment is to ensure accuracy in the tax filing. This is not primarily to try to increase tax refunds or any credits. It’s solely about keeping the integrity of returns. Yet not every situation requires such an amendment to need a filing. So make sure to only use this form when needed.
For example, if the return requires additional documentation or any other IRS form to have completion, then only fill out the request. Do not fill out a 1040X with this additional documentation if there wasn’t an inclusion in the original form.
Also, ensure that you receive confirmation from the IRS that the form is needed. Do not file a return, then file additional forms you may need to submit to the IRS after the fact. This will only complicate the return and delay the outcome of the tax return.
If you think there’s only been some type of calculation error on the return, don’t worry here. The IRS always double-checks the calculations themselves, and when they accept the return and process it they will clarify the re-calculation and if it affects the refund in any way.
The only time to consider filing a Form 1040X amended return is when you’ve submitted a tax return, and you need to change something with that specific return and all the subsequent forms that were already submitted at the same time with that return. This is common when you may need to change the amount of total income, as income may have been forgotten (from, say, freelancer gigs), and this will affect the return and subsequent refund or taxes owed based on this new information.
This also goes if there are any adjustments to any tax credits (either the need to remove or claim tax credits) due to filling out the incorrect amount.
What are some of the most advised practices when it comes to filling out this form?
Remember, if you’re submitting new forms, that should only be at the request of the IRS. However, suppose you’ve had additional documents on top of the 1040 tax return. These could include the variations of 1040, such as the 1040EZ/EZT, 1040NR/NR-EZ, 1040-SR, or the 1040A. Documents that had submission with the initial return. In that case, you will need to submit copies with the amended 1040X tax return form.
When filling out the form, a lot of the same information can move over. This includes your personal information, social security number, and original filing status. Keep in mind that any amendments should have relevant files. Such as freelancing schedules or the additional W2 or 1099 forms for the income that they need a report of.
It’s always a good idea to have copies of anything tax-related anyway. It can always come in handy if there’s ever the rare chance to confirm anything.
How long does it take?
Remember only to file this after you’ve filed the original return. It also may be a good idea to wait for the IRS to assess the tax return. However, always consult with your tax professional or contact the IRS if you aren’t sure.
If you do not, you’ll cause excessive delays through the confusion as the 1040X is an override return from the original. This means they will match it against the original return.
With that said, since this will need a manual vetting, it can take up to 16 weeks for the IRS to process, and even longer due to the current situation and if it’s the busy tax season. Like many other tax return forms, you can submit this electronically online and via regular mail.
Remember that any returns submitted online will likely also process faster. In many cases, processing online can only take eight to twelve weeks. It will also follow the regular refund process, and if they owe you any additional tax refund. This will be sent to you the way you’ve requested it with submission.
Some additional considerations with Form 1040X amended tax return
This form will help correct any mistakes you may think you made on your original return. However, it is not a guarantee that it will increase a refund. It can easily reduce the refund or even have you owing funds due to taxes you owe when additional incomes become a factor with the updated tax exemptions.
Therefore, it is more important to have a clear and concise tax return and to use Form 1040X to ensure that it’s accurate versus being concerned if taxes will be owed.
Take the time to work with a tax professional to ensure that if any discussion is going to be made about amending the original tax return. They’ll be able to help not only complete and submit the amendment correctly but also help to keep your tax returns in the right condition.
It’s common to forget anything outside of normal tax situations and tax returns. This is especially for those that are simply handling one W2 most of the time and taking the standard deduction every year. Yet as things change, so does paying your taxes, so always consider that extra support from a tax consultant.
Keep in mind when filling out a Form 1040A Amended Tax Return, it will need to be done for each year you want to do it separately. Therefore, it is not possible to use this form to correct multiple tax years at the same time. It should only be used clearly in conjunction with only one specific return. The form will request the tax year, which means if multiple recent returns need to be amended, then do so one at a time and correctly mark the year when completing the amendment.