So, you worked hours on your tax return, gathered your documents, filed on time and you are now awaiting your tax refund with eager anticipation. All is well until that moment of mild terror when you realize you forgot to include a vital document or deduction on your taxes. Don’t panic: all is not lost. There are ways to include missed information on your taxes, even if you’ve already filed them.
File an Amended Tax Return
When you’ve omitted information on your return, the IRS allows you to file an Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return called Form 1040X. However, you can’t e-file amended returns; they’ll have to be submitted it in paper form which increases the wait time by many weeks for any potential additional refunds.
Reasons to File
There are lots of reasons you might need to file an amended tax return, but there are some things that don’t necessitate one. You’ll need to file a 1040X form if you have experienced a change in your filing status, income, credits or deductions. But you do not have to file if you caught a math error after the fact. The IRS is pretty good about catching these types of mistakes and usually adjust these automatically for you. For example, If you forgot to attach the proper tax forms and a W2 is missing, there’s no need to file this amended form. You should get a request from the IRS requesting any missing items. The IRS can easily find income that you may have omitted from your tax return, but sometimes it can take a very long time for the IRS to notify you. That means if you made an error where you underpaid your taxes in some manner, you will accrue penalties and interest until your tax liability is paid in full. It could pay for you to file an amended return to minimize penalties & interests. On the other hand, the IRS isn’t as well-equipped for finding missing credits or deductions that you may have overlooked, and which could increase your refund. In this case, don’t wait until you get a letter from the IRS looking for more information. Instead, be proactive and file the amended return. After all it’s your money and the IRS does NOT have to pay you interest for holding onto your well deserved refunds.
You have three years from the original filing date to submit Form 1040X, or two years from the date of tax payment. You’ll need to submit a separate 1040X form for each tax return you’re amending and mail them separately to the IRS. Also, don’t assume they are all being mailed to the same mailing address. There are usually separate processing PO Boxes for each tax year you are amending. If you plan on claiming more of a refund, you must wait until you get your original refund in the mail or via direct deposit before filing the 1040X. Again, keep in mind that amended refunds take awhile to process, so it could take up to 12 weeks before you receive anything. If you owe more taxes as a result of the amended return, pay what you owe right away to avoid fees and penalties from piling up, as the IRS will begin charging you based on the due date of your original tax return.
Track Your Status
Similar to tracking your original refund status, the IRS has a Where’s My Amended Return? tool (you can also check R&G Brenner’s Where’s My Refund page as we include State Refund links as well) that you can use to track your amended return’s status. Alternatively, you can call the IRS at 866-464-2050. Have your taxpayer identification number or social security number handy, along with your date of birth and zip code.
If you forgot to include some vital information on your tax return, follow the steps above to make sure you pay all the right taxes and get your full refund. Or, simply contact an experience R&G Brenner tax professional today, and we’d be happy to assist you.