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Can You Amend Your Tax Return if You Made a Mistake?


Posted in on April 28, 2017

The IRS requires taxpayers to file tax returns each year which include extensive information about income and about deductions.  Filing tax returns can be complicated, as there are a lot of details to include. Mistakes are not uncommon, and if you make an error, you may need to alert the IRS and fix the error by amending your return.

A Maryland tax lawyer can provide you with assistance in determining if the type of error that you made needs to be corrected and can help with the process of amending your return. An attorney can also assist you if mistakes are discovered during an audit, or if the IRS claims you owe back taxes as a result of an error. It is best to contact an attorney as soon as you know there is a problem with your taxes, as penalties tend to continue accruing and grow larger over time.

When and How to Amend Your Tax Return

The IRS does not require you to submit an amended return for simple errors which the Internal Revenue Service can catch automatically. For example, you will not have to submit an amended return if you just made a basic math error. If you were missing any forms when you submitted the tax return, the IRS can also usually request those forms on its own so you don't need to amend your return for this type of issue.

However, there are circumstances in which you must alert the IRS to a mistake you made. If the error could impact the amount of taxes that you owe or if the error could affect the amount of the refund that you are entitled to receive, you should submit an amended tax return. You should also submit an amended return for any errors in the number of credits you claimed, for mistakes in deductions that you took, or if you incorrectly declared your income and need to revise the amount that you earned.

Amended returns cannot be e-filed, although tax software does allow you to obtain free forms to amend your returns if necessary. The form that you will likely need to amend your return is the 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Tax Return.  You should make the necessary changes to your tax information that you are submitting using this form, and should also explain in complete sentences in the appropriate spot on the form exactly why you are submitting the amended return. If any other IRS forms that you originally submitted are affected by the changes you are making, submit those forms as well.

You must mail in your amended returns to the IRS.  If you are entitled to a refund, you need to submit your amended return within three years of the original filing date of your taxes or within two years from the date when you paid taxes during the year that you're entitled to a refund.  Maryland tax attorney Kevin Thorn can assist you with the process of amending your return so you can claim the maximum refund possible or so you can try to minimize any back taxes or penalties you may owe if your amended return results in you owing the IRS.

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