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Amended Tax Return FAQs

Should I file an amended return?

Whether you already filed your yearly tax returns on time or perhaps after the tax deadline, there is still a chance that you might receive information that was not included, or you discover something that was missed such as a significant deduction. In this case, you may consider filing an amended tax return.

Do I have to file an amended return if I discover an error or receive new information?

Filing an amended return is not required, unless it is discovered, you underestimated income, and/or you overestimated deductions. An amended return decision, hinges on the facts, circumstances, and materiality of each situation.

What part of my return needs to be amended?

Consider that if you decide to amend, you can't just correct the items that will give you a refund and neglect those that increase your tax liability. An amended return is more likely to be audited than an original return in general, and every tax return is filed under penalty of perjury, so amending just partial pieces and parts of a tax return could get you into serious trouble. Therefore, you should always trust a qualified professional to prepare and file your amendments.

If your amended return results in asking for considerable money back, the IRS may review it even more carefully, although you can always choose to apply all or part of the expected refund to your current year's tax instead of asking for cash back.

Can I file my amended return electronically?

No. Amended returns are only filed on paper via Form 1040X, even if you filed your original return electronically and whether you previously filed Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ. If you are amending more than one tax return (i.e. for different years), you will need to prepare a separate 1040X for each return.

How long do I have to file an amended tax return?

It's commonly stated that you must amend within three years of your original return filing. However, the cutoff is three years from the date you filed your original return or two years from the date you paid the tax for the return you wish to amend, whichever is later.

The IRS typically has three years to audit a tax return. Even if you file an amended return, the three-year statute of limitations does not get extended. The amount of time left on the three-year window when you amend can be used to your advantage to assuage the worry of an audit. However, if it shows that you owe more, you will owe additional interest calculated from the due date of the original return (without regard to extensions) and probably penalties as well.

Is an amended tax return the right thing to do?

Filing an amended return is not required. Here are some possible reasons NOT to amend:

  • If the tax return you filed was accurate to the best of your knowledge when you filed it
  • If you simply discover a math error in your calculations, the IRS says there is no need to file an amended return. Their computers or paper-file reviewers will catch the error and correct any amount owed or due to you.
  • If you forgot to attach certain paperwork to your return, such as a W-2, 1099, or schedules to show your work for different areas of the return, the IRS will likely be able to process your return without it or will send you a letter requesting the missing information.

What does SFTA charge to complete an amended tax return?

If you find yourself in a position of questioning an amendment issue, SFTA will welcome the opportunity to review your facts and circumstances and recommended accordingly. There is NO cost for our evaluation. We will provide you an explanation of our recommendation, and we will provide you with an engagement letter, identifying our services and cost for the service rendered.