A Step-By-Step Guide To Filing An Amended Tax Return

When it comes to filing an amended tax return, there is a set procedure that you need to follow. There can be different types of changes that you may like to make in your tax return, such as the filing status, the allowable credits or deductions that you missed, credits or deductions that are not allowed but you have taken, certain sources of income that you have not reported. Following is a brief rundown on some of the basic steps that you have to follow in order to make such changes.

Obtain Form 1040X

You have to fill out the form 1040X, which you can download free of cost from Internet. All you have to do is to visit the official website of the IRS (Internal Revenue System). However, here, it is very important for you to keep in mind that when it comes to filing an amended tax return, you have to do it manually. The tax laws of the United States of America do not allow you to file the amended tax return electronically. If you have to make changes to tax returns of several years, you will have to fill out and submit a separate form 1040x for every year. Please note that you can file a claim for tax refund only within three years of filing the original tax return.

Fill Out The Form

You will have to be very careful while you are filling out the form 1040x. Make sure that the information you are providing is accurate and complete in all respects. Some basic information that you need to provide include filing status, social security numbers, address, name, and other such things. Do not forget to mention the year of the tax return that has to be amended. Besides that, it is also important to note that though change in filing status is possible, there are certain legal restrictions. For example, the US taxation laws do not allow you to change from a joint return to an individual return.

Changing Amounts

While you are filing an amended tax return, you must also take great care while changing the amounts. First, you need to provide the amounts mentioned in the original tax return in the column A, and then, in the adjacent column B, you can mention the difference in the amounts that has to be adjusted. These amounts may be related to credits, deductions, and income. Then, in the column C, you can subtract or add (whichever is applicable) the amount in the column B from the amount mentioned in the column A. make sure that you enter the corrected amounts in the correct line. For example, the line 5 of the column C should be used to mention the corrected taxable income.

Line 6 Of Column C

You have to be very careful while you are filling out the line 6 of the column C as part of the process of filing an amended tax return. For example, if AMT (Alternative Minimum Tax) applies to your case, do not forget to mention that amount in the line 6. While you are calculating the changed tax liability, make sure you refer to the tax schedules’ or tables that are applicable to the year that is being amended.

Complete The Remaining Lines

Once you arte through with the above steps, you will have to complete the remaining lines for refunds already received, tax payments already made, other taxes, and credits. Explain each and every change that you are making. In some cases, you may be required to attach some documents. If so, do not forget to include those attachments. Depending upon your specific situation, you can show the net difference either as a refund on Line 23 or as additional tax due on Line 21.

Print The Completed Form

Once you complete the form 1040x, you can get the same printed on paper. You can then submit the form with the local IRS (Internal Revenue Service) center in your area. You will obviously have to include a check for payment in case you owe additional tax after making the changes.

Though the process of filing an amended tax return may look a simple one, the calculations can sometimes be very complicated. For example, if you are decreasing or increasing your gross income, it will impact several other items also, such as allowable credits and limitations on itemized deductions. Even the taxable amount of social security benefits may get affected because of this. Therefore, you have to be very careful while you are doing your calculations.