John R. Bullis: Consider filing an amended return
November 13, 2017
If you filed your U.S. Individual Income Tax Return for 2016 and now you realize it is not correct, consider filing an Amended Return on form 1040X.
With all the special rules and the difficulties in gathering all the tax information, it is not unusual for a return to not be quite correct.
Perhaps you received a 'corrected' form of some sort. It could be the form 1099-MISC did not show the correct income you received. If you now have a "Corrected" form (and it was sent to IRS by the person that sent you the form), you could amend your return. If the income was overstated on the original form, the amended return may be a refund.
Some folks filed their return only to get a "Corrected" form 1099 from their stockbroker. If the differences are small (results in $50 or less tax change), it may not be worth your time to file an amended return.
It is not unusual for a Schedule K-1 form from an Estate or Trust, or a Partnership or a Sub-chapter S corporation to be received after you have filed your return. Unless the amounts are very small, you probably should file an amended return.
All income tax returns have a general Statute of Limitations that means the return can not be amended if more than three years have passed since the original due date. For instance, if the correction is for your 2013 return, it had a due date of April 15, 2014. Three years later would be April 15, 2017. If the 2013 return had an extension of time to file, it could be open for amendment a little longer.
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If your corrections relate to 2012 or before that, you will not benefit from filing an amended return for a refund. IRS won't pay the refund if it is more than three years from the due date for filing the original return.
You can work with a CPA or you can get the forms from IRS and prepare form 1040X yourself. The IRS has various publications and instructions for forms that are available on its website <irs.gov>.
If your amended return shows you will pay additional tax because of the change (amendment), it will be better for you to correct it. If you wait for IRS to contact you, there may be more interest and penalties to pay.
Did you hear? "The old believe everything; the middle aged suspect everything; the young know everything," by Oscar Wilde (1854-1900).
John Bullis is a certified public accountant, personal financial specialist and certified senior adviser who has served Carson City for 45 years. He is founder emeritus of Bullis and Company CPAs.