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Oops, It Might Be Time For An Amended Return

April 16, 2015

Sometimes mistakes happen on a tax return and the IRS has a pretty easy way to correct them.  You can file an amended return.

Use Form 1040X where you would indicate and explain the change and either mail a check with the added payment or wait to receive an extra refund.

Amended returns cannot be filed before the due date, which was yesterday, more than three years later than when you filed or the original due date – including extensions.

Form 1040X requires the attachment of other forms and schedules that are explained in the instructions.  If you have a complicated or involved change, including copies of the substantiation with the return could help avoid an audit.

Unless the refund is extremely large, the filing of an amended return would not increase the chances of an audit.  It is a pretty routine procedure for the IRS.  If you never filed an amended return it might not feel routine for you, but you should not worry excessively about it.  If you owe tax, interest and penalty would be due.  You can calculate it yourself, or wait for a bill.  Paying the tax with the form will stop the interest and penalty from accruing.  I recommend filing the amended return as soon as you discover the error.

Form 1040X and its instructions can be downloaded at www.irs.gov

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