Top Four Reasons to File an Amended Return
Here are the Top 4 reasons to file an amended return (Form 1040X).
1. Correct an error or omission to your income.
If you find out after you file that you left income off your return (from Form W-2 or 1099, for example), or you got a corrected information statement with different income or withholding amounts, you’ll need to file an amended return to correct the error.
That’s true whether you should get a larger refund or will owe more in taxes. If you’ll owe more in taxes and don’t amend your return, the IRS will probably send you a CP2000 notice, which could come with significant penalties.
2. Change your filing status.
If your circumstances fit, you may want to change your filing status to one that benefits you more.
For example, if you filed as Single when you qualified to file as Head of Household, that’s a $3,000 hit to your standard deduction. You can’t always change your filing status (that depends on your situation), but if you need to, it’s a good reason to file an amended return.
3. Change your deductions.
If you incorrectly claimed certain expenses to itemize your deductions or you accidentally included or left out a dependent, you should file an amended return to correct the errors. This could prevent problems later, like notices or an IRS audit.
4. Claim a credit or correct a credit.
Credits are often tied to dependents on your return. But even with the right dependents, you might have claimed a credit you shouldn’t have. Fix the error by amending your return. That will help you make sure you’re getting your maximum refund without receiving a tax bill after the fact.
What about when not to file an amended return?
Lots of people make this mistake every year – and it can really complicate their situation with the IRS.
Here are a few common situations when people file an amended return, but shouldn’t:
- They got a CP2000 notice.
- They need to correct an arithmetic mistake.
- The IRS rejected their e-filed return.
- They forgot to attach a copy of their Form W-2 to the return.
Learn the most common reasons people file amended returns when they shouldn’t – and exactly what to do instead, or if you need to file an amended tax return.
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