How Far Back Can You Amend Your Tax Returns?

Amended Tax Return with a Designated Time Period

Tax is a levy or financial charge imposed upon a person by the state. The failure to pay tax is punishable as it is an offence. However, paying tax is not a child’s play. All tax documents need to be in place in order to pay tax.

The first and most important thing you need to do is to gather all your tax documents if they are not kept in order. All the numbers need to be correct in every document. You should Double check all the details written in the documents to be on the safe side. Revising a tax return is done by filling an amendment. Form 1040X should in conjunction with Form 1040 for this purpose. After filling the form, the amended tax returns have to be mailed to the IRS on paper for manual processing. The IRS then processes the amended return in a time of about 8 to 12 weeks. This process may take some extra time as well because of the IRS’s busiest schedule.

Filing an amended tax return is important as it may help you to correct any wrong piece of information that would alter your tax calculations. Amended returns are useful in making several corrections to filing status, incomes, deductions, dependents, and tax credits of a person. In case if you need to report an additional income from a W- 2 that arrived after the submission of your original return, it would be necessary for you to file an amendment. Similarly, if you need to remove dependents because they were not eligible enough to be claimed, you should file an amendment.

A question may suddenly crop up in your mind as to how far back can you amend your tax returns? Well the answer for this is very simple; every person has only three years to make any corrections that result in additional tax refunds. The main reason for this is that there is a three- year statute of limitations on issuing any tax refund check. If a return is submitted by you before the 15th of April, the three – year period then begins from the 15th of April. If you tend to request for an extension the three- year period begins from the 15th of October. In case if you are beyond the three- year period, refunds can only be received for overpaid taxes that were paid during the previous two years.

People who need to correct overstated deductions or need to report additional income can file an amended return at any time. You should however, be aware of the fact that the IRS has three- years to check your tax return. The IRS may even take extra time in case of a considerable under- reporting.


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