How Long Does It Take to Get Amended Tax Return Back?
Update: One of our readers,Pete Lytle, mentioned that “The IRS did not start processing amended returns until August 1st due to COVID-19. They received mine on March 16th. They said that the 16 week count down starts on August 1st. Which means I may have to wait until around Thanksgiving. Although the rep stated since mine was received in March, “it should only take a few weeks”. Now it’s near mid September and nothing. And my car has now been repossessed. Thanks IRS. Interesting note: during the shut down, the IRS collections department was open. I am hurt, pissed off and sad.”
Recently, I filed my 1040X and I used TurboTax Online. I have to say, amending a tax return with TurboTax is really as easy as 1, 2, 3. I just logged into my account and clicked on “Amend Your Tax Return” for 2014 and it guided me through the process. My case was easy. My son was born in December of 2014. Because he was born overseas, it took a couple of months for him to receive his Social Security card. When I filed my tax return, I still hadn’t receive his Social Security card, so I had to file it without adding him as my dependent. We finally received his card and I updated the 1040X form immediately, and I realized I can get about $1,500 dollars back because I am eligible for the Child Tax Credit, which is $1,000.
The other thing is that it doesn’t matter if your child is born in January or December; as long as your newborn is born last year, you can claim the full amount, not just a portion of it. Also, make sure that you sign the 1040X at the bottom and date it. If it’s a joint return, your spouse has to sign and date it as well. You still need to print and mail the forms. You can’t e-file your tax return.
Receiving your amended tax returns back takes a long time. Usually, it takes about 3 weeks from the date you mailed the amended return for it to show up in the IRS system.
Thereafter, you can get your amended tax refund after 16 weeks. Before, it used to take 8 to 12 weeks for processing time before you would receive your tax return, but an increase in the number of amended returns has compelled the IRS to extend the normal processing time to 16 weeks. You can monitor the status of your tax return with this tool: Where is my amended return?.
Where’s My Amended Refund?
Mistakes on federal tax returns are normal and they can be fixed. When we are filing our tax returns each year, there is no guarantee that we will not make mistakes. After all, we are just humans. These mistakes may be in the form of mathematical errors. The IRS recognizes that this is normal and, as such, will usually correct them and provide you with a correspondence that indicates the changes made. However, there are situations where you may have unwittingly left out some incomes in your filing, or you made changes to your claimable credits and filing status, and you need to amend your return in order to avoid tax penalties.
An amended tax return is your chance to correct your mistakes; it’s sort of a second chance, your do-over, provided by the IRS via Form 1040X. Knowing that your amended tax return can take a long time, you usually don’t get an immediate response. It takes too much boring and frustrating time waiting to know the status of your amended return, and even more frustrating is the fact that the IRS call center will not give you any additional information when your amended return is being processed, so not until it is completed. Generally, it can take up to 16 weeks from the day the IRS receives your amended return for it to be processed, and it may take 3 weeks from the day you mailed it for it to show up in the IRS system. This is why “Where’s my Amended Return” comes in handy.
“Where is My Amended Tax Return?” is a tool that you can use to monitor the status of Form 1040X Amended Tax Return for the current year, and even up to three years prior.
How to File Taxes. It’s your Civic Duty as a Taxpayer
Tax time usually makes people apprehensive, as not everybody enjoys the prospect of filing taxes. However, filing taxes is your obligation, which you have to fulfill every year or face the consequences. Most people will find it easier to file taxes if they know that there are several ways of filing taxes and many options they can choose from when doing it.
You can either file your taxes online or do paper filing. Here are some ideas on how to file your taxes this current year:
- File your tax for free online at the IRS website if your earnings are below $54,000.
- You can use the IRS e-file when your earnings are above $54,000. You can find additional details at the IRS website.
- Send the printout of forms from the IRS website to their office.
- Get the services of a professional tax consultant and file a tax form.
- Hire a professional accountant to help you with filing taxes.
- If you are late in filing your returns, you can go to a tax attorney or a tax agent, if you think your case might be difficult.
- You can use programs such as Turbo Tax and Quicken to file a hard copy of your returns.
- If you have a good knowledge of filing returns, you can do it yourself and send your forms to the IRS.
The above are a few ways you can file your tax returns this year. The one that suits you the best will depend on your individual situation. When filing your taxes, you may require the services of a qualified tax preparer, if you believe you have an intricate tax situation.
How to Amend a Tax Return. Can I Amend a Tax Return Online?
You can file to amend your tax returns if you want to correct your filing status, total income, claimed dependents, tax deductions, or tax credits. When you have such errors as incorrect math in your tax figures, there is no need to file for an amendment, as the IRS computers will fix it and send you the corrections.
Unfortunately, Form 1040X for filing tax returns cannot be filed online. You can use tax-prep software to fill out the paperwork, but you need to submit the paper manually to the IRS.
Amending a tax return is done in two parts, which include:
- Filling out a new Form 1040
- Reporting the difference between the original tax return and the new one on the IRS Form 1040X
The IRS tends to pay more attention to the amended returns than the original returns. Therefore, ensure that your new Form 1040 is very accurate.
Keep the original and amended Form 1040 side by side while preparing Form 1040X. Form 1040X contains three columns; you will report items from the original tax return in Column A. Column C also contains the same items from the original 1040, while Column B is where you put the difference between the old and the new figures. Ensure that the figures you have in Column A and Column B add up to the figures that appear in Column C.
Part two of Form 1040 is the most important part. This part will report the exact changes you made to the original Form 1040 and the reasons for those changes. Ensure that you are clear and concise with your explanations.
Filing for Refund: If the amendment is for the purposes of getting a refund or increasing the previous refund, you need to file Form 1040X within two years of paying the taxes, or three years of filing your original return, whichever comes later.
How Far Back Can I Amend a Tax Return?
The IRS allows you to correct the mistakes you made in your tax returns. However, the time to correct these mistakes has a deadline attached to it.
You are able to file for amended returns three years from the date that the original tax return was due. When you get your new Form 1040X, you need to indicate the year of the tax return that you are amending at the top of your form. According to the IRS, your amendment must come within three years of your original return. For instance, if the due date of the return was February 26, 2013, the IRS will give you until February 26, 2016 to file a Form 1040X for 2012. In the case where you made the tax payment after you filed the return, the IRS will set your deadline for two years from the date of your payment, assuming that would be later.
When To Get Your Amended Tax Refund Back?
After I am done with amending my tax return because I need to add my son as my dependent. I can see some estimated time frame for the tax refund. Below is a screen shot.
It tells you the estimated time frame is 8-20 weeks. If you choose to get your refund with direct deposit, it should be much faster and it guarantees the check won’t be lost in the mail. Always save a copy for yourself to reference in the future just in case.
The other thing is it’s possible that you have to amend your tax return and you actually don’t expect any refund. If that’s the case, you still have to do it and always keep IRS informed and do the right thing. If you have to pay them more, then just brace yourself and do it.
Accuracy is a very important task because if the details are fudgy, it will take more time to get the amended Tax return back. The IRS service center might require all the documents which will be attached to the form for submission. Official would verify and scrutinize the documents individually to ensure that the tax returns are filled in a proper manner.
After completing the first step, it’s time to fill in the second form 1040X. It is bestowed with the summary of the contents from 1040. Details of the original tax returns should also be filled in 1040X because it will help to evaluate the difference in the amendment. One of the most important parts of the form 1040X is C where it is important to explain the reasons behind the amended tax returns. The causes must be clearly explained because it might get rejected by the IRS. Therefore, one should take extra precaution while filling the form.
Number crunching plays a major role while evaluating the tax returns. Hence, a person should be vigilant in entering the correct figures because a slight mistake could lead to a delay in the return of the amended tax information. All the information such as salary and deductions should be double checked to ensure that data is authentic.
Whilst filling the form, one must remember to append the signature and the date. It will help the authorities to track the information. Sometimes, the form is too complex for the people therefore they might need the assistance of an accountant. It is also crucial to add the signature of the accountant so that IRS has detailed information. After submission of the form, people can track its status online by filling in the application number. Amended tax returns are filed in conditions when the status, dependents or total income are reported incorrectly. Mailing the amended tax return is necessary because it can’t be e-filled.
Can I amend my tax return myself? Do I need an accountant?
There is a saying that goes like this “once bitten twice shy”. When you made a mistake in filing tax returns because of inexperience, there is a probability that you can make another error when you apply for amendment.
You need the service of professional accountant while you are filing for your tax returns. He will help you to appropriately file a good tax return free of errors, he can also help you to figure out if you are due for refund and as well improve your future tax situation by suggesting things to look out for in your future returns.
However, if you missed out on hiring a professional accountant the first time you file your tax returns, don’t repeat the mistake again. You definitely require the service of an accountant to help you in filing for your amended tax return. When you have lots of investments, it makes way more sense to manage your tax professionally in one place, it is the best way to become financial independent and get a handle on your finances.