Understanding Amended Tax Returns
An amended tax return is a document used to revise your original tax return.
It is typically filed to correct errors, claim additional deductions or credits, or provide new information not included in the original filing.
This can be useful when you were unaware of certain tax benefits or if your income for the year changed after filing the initial return.
Types of Amended Tax Returns
There are two primary situations in which an amended tax return is filed:
- Corrections to income or deductions: In this case, your original tax return is accurate, but you have new information regarding income or deductions that were not reported correctly initially. For example, if you received a raise after filing your taxes.
- Changes to the amount of tax due: Here, your original tax return contains errors, and you need to amend it to correct the amount of tax owed.
Filing an Amended Tax Return
The process of filing an amended tax return may vary depending on your specific circumstances.
Sometimes, you can file the amended return online, by mail, or through a combination.
Suppose you are amending your return to report previously unreported income or deductions.
In that case, you can generally file it by mail or using the same tax preparation software you used for the original return.
However, if you are correcting mistakes on your original return, you must submit the amended return by mail.
It’s essential to adhere to the specific timelines tax authorities communicate for filing amended returns.
Disadvantages of Amended Tax Returns
There are a few disadvantages associated with filing an amended tax return.
One potential drawback is that the IRS may audit both your original and amended returns, potentially subjecting you to a more thorough examination.
Additionally, the processing of amended returns by the IRS is typically manual, which can result in longer processing times, often taking up to 16 weeks.