Amended Tax Return Basics

Around tax time, an amended tax return is something that many people have to file. Here are the basics of why you might need to file an amended tax return and how to go about doing it.

Amended Tax Returns

An amended tax return allows you to change anything that you put on a previous return. This is a process that you must go through with the IRS in order to correct any mistakes that you have made. Many people have to file an amended tax return because they get a W-2 in the mail after they have already filed their taxes. If you have additional income, this will change the amount of taxes that you owe, and therefore, you will have to amend your return.

You might also have to amend your return if you need to change the number of dependents that you claim or change your filing status. If you forgot to take a deduction or a tax credit, you can also amend your return. If you forgot to list additional money that has already been withheld, an amended return will be the best way to fix the problem.

When you file an amended tax return, keep in mind that the IRS will most likely pay closer attention to your tax return at that point. Therefore, when filing this, make sure that you pay close attention to detail.

Fill Out New 1040

The first step of the process to file an amended tax return is to fill out a new 1040. Regardless of which forms you used the first time, you will need to fill out a completely new 1040. You can obtain this form off of the IRS website or from your tax professional. The process of filling out your new 1040 should be exactly the same as the first time you filed your taxes. You will need to go line by line and fill in the appropriate information. You will also need to include the proper documentation to prove any deductions or tax credits. Include all of your W-2's and any other relevant tax documentation.

Form 1040X

After you have successfully completed form 1040, you will need to fill out form 1040X. This is the IRS form that tells them that you are filing an amended return. In order to successfully complete this form, you will need both your old tax return and your new one. Set them side by side in front of you so you can easily compare them against one another. Form 1040X will have three columns on it. In the first column, you are going to put information from your first tax return. In the second column, you will input items from your new tax return. The third line is a way to total the difference between them.

On the second page of form 1040X, you will need to explain what you changed and give the reasons for changing it. This is a very important part of the process that will determine whether the IRS allows the change.