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When Should You File An Amended Tax Return?

Taxpayers who have forgotten to claim a tax credit, missed a deduction or discovered a mistake on their federal income tax return are being encouraged by the IRS to amend their tax returns.

Taxpayers who have forgotten to claim a tax credit, missed a deduction or discovered a mistake on their federal income tax return are being encouraged by the Internal Revenue Service to amend their tax returns.

IRS Form 1040X will amend or correct a previously filed individual tax return. There is no reason anybody should pass up a tax credit or benefit from a deduction they are eligible for just because they overlooked it when they first filed.

Generally, taxpayers do not need to file an amended return to correct mathematical errors because the IRS will automatically make such corrections and send a printed notice. Amended returns should not be filed for forgotten tax forms such as W-2s or schedules, the IRS normally mails a notice asking for those if needed.

If it is income you forgot to report, the sooner you correct it, the lower any penalties and interest you may owe will be. Besides, why wait for us to notify you when you can do the right thing right now and stop worrying?

The Form 1040X cannot be submitted electronically and must be filed using the paper form and mailed in. If more than one tax return is being amended, each 1040X should be in a separate envelope addressed to the appropriate IRS processing center. An amended return must be filed within three years from the date of the original return or within two years from the date taxes were paid, whichever is later. The IRS says it takes 8-12 weeks to process an amended return. 

It’s important to know that any IRS notice will be delivered only by the US Postal Service. The IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails, tweets, text messages or other electronic communication about your tax return. 

For more information about amended returns or to print a copy of the Form 1040X, go to www.irs.gov and click on the link to Forms and Publications.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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