If you discover that you made an error on a tax return after you have already filed it, you may be very worried about what will happen. The Internal Revenue Service recognizes that people sometimes make mistakes on their tax returns, and the agency provides a form that you can use to amend your return in order to make corrections. It is important for you to understand when you should use 1040X to amend your return and when it is unnecessary. Not all mistakes need to be corrected.
Situations when you should file a 1040X
There are several types of errors that should lead you to amend your tax return. If you purposely reported incorrect information in order to try to avoid paying taxes, it is important for you to amend your return in order to correct it. The IRS is unlikely to prosecute you for the original error so long as you amend your return with the correct information. You should also do so as soon as possible to limit the penalties and interest that you might otherwise have to pay.
Other situations which should prompt you to file an amended return include such things as correcting the dependents that you claimed if you were confused about whether or not another person qualified as your dependent or changing your filing status. For instance, if you filed as single after getting a divorce but should have filed as single, head-of-household, that should prompt an amended return because you may have been owed a larger refund than what you received. If you receive a 1099 form after you have filed your return, you should amend it to add the information from the 1099 that you innocently left out.
Deadlines are important
You can only file a 1040X within three years of when you originally filed your return. You also are not able to change your status from married filing separately to a joint return after you have filed your taxes. It is important that you file your amended return as soon as possible so that penalties and interest do not continue to accrue and so that you can receive any refunds that you might be owed.
It is a good idea to get help with your small business tax returns from a professional at Thomas M. Ditullio Accounting. With our help, you can avoid the common mistakes that can lead to problems. Call us today to schedule an appointment and to learn about how we can help you.