Platinum Tax Defenders Reveals 5 “Need-To-Knows” For Filing A Tax Return Amendment

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While this year’s tax season may be over for most U.S. taxpayers, for others, including tax professionals, the second leg of the season is in full motion. Now is when many U.S. taxpayers will realize they made a mistake on their tax returns and will file a tax return amendment. In fact, according to figures from the IRS, nearly 6 million amended tax returns were filed in 2018.

To assist those who may need to correct an error made on their tax returns, the IRS offers Form 1040-X, the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, and gives taxpayers up to three years to file amendments to their previous tax returns. While taxpayers are not legally obligated to file a tax return amendment, Sherri Gastelum, President and CEO of Platinum Tax Defenders, says it’s not necessarily a bad idea to correct a mistake made when filing a tax return.

“The process for filing taxes these days can be incredibly confusing, frustrating, and time-consuming for U.S. taxpayers,” says Gastelum. “When taxpayers are filing their taxes on their own, it’s often easy for them to make mistakes. Some mistakes can make the difference between getting or not getting a refund or paying or not paying taxes. We will often advise our clients to correct a mistake if they feel they’ve made one.”

However, an expert at Platinum Tax Defenders also notes that not every mistake needs to be fixed. “If a taxpayer knows they made a simple mathematical error, there’s no reason to file a tax return amendment to fix that,” says the Platinum Tax Defenders professional. “The IRS’ computer system will automatically make that correction.”

Platinum Tax Defenders encourages individuals who think they may need to file a tax return amendment but aren’t sure how to do so, to call a trusted tax resolution firm, who can help them determine what changes should be made, and how to make them. For those who may be unsure about whether they should file a tax return amendment this year, or for those in the process of filing an amendment, Platinum Tax Defenders offers five “need-to-know” tips for filing a tax return amendment.

First, a tax return amendment will always need to be filed by mail. The form that will be used to file a tax return amendment is the 1040-X. This form cannot be submitted electronically. For those who may be amending tax returns for multiple years, separate 1040-X forms will need to be filled out. They should also be mailed separately in separate envelopes.

Second, taxpayers should wait to file their amended tax return until they receive their refund from their original tax return. Platinum Tax Defenders recommends doing this because once a taxpayer receives his or her tax refund, they know that their original tax return has been received and accepted by the IRS. Filing an amendment before the original return is complete can cause confusion for both the taxpayer and the IRS.

Third, as Kelly Phillips Erb notes in her April 2019 Forbes article titled “Made A Mistake On Your Tax Return? 15 Things You Need To Know,” don’t amend your tax returns in “a bubble.” “If you’re making a change that is more than correcting a missed line item or righting a transposed number, take a breath first and think about the big picture,” she writes. Filing a tax return amendment is not the best way to correct what may be considered tax fraud, or address a missing piece of information that is significant, like a missed foreign compliance form. Erb adds that “if your amended return carries potential consequences beyond payment due, check with a tax professional before mailing it in. You can’t un-ring that bell.”

Fourth, if you think you maybe do a refund, or additional refund, as a result of filing a tax return amendment, you must file your 1040-X form within three years after the date you filed your original return, or within two years after the date on which you paid the tax, whichever date happens to be later. If you wait to file a tax return amendment until after the statute of limitations has passed, it’s possible you may no longer be entitled to a refund. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t still file an amendment, according to Erb. “The IRS has been known to send an occasional refund outside of the refund window based on facts and circumstances,” she writes.

Lastly, it’s important to note that a change made to a previous tax return can have additional consequences. For example, if you make a change to your adjusted gross income, that could also change items such as itemized deductions, tax credits, and a taxable amount of social security benefits. This is also true for changing your filing status.

“While filing a tax return isn’t always a necessity in every case, it doesn’t hurt to check with a tax resolution professional and see if filing a tax return amendment is the right thing to do for that individual taxpayer,” says one of the tax specialists at Platinum Tax Defenders. “It’s always positive to be in good, correct standing with the IRS, and the IRS provides ways to make changes if they’re necessary.”

The professionals at Platinum Tax Defenders offer services that can help taxpayers in determining if they should file a tax return amendment and if the correction they would like to make warrants filling out a 1040-X.

Platinum Tax Defenders was founded by President and CEO Sherri Gastelum in 2011 in Los Angeles. Along with providing clients with a range of tax resolution issues, including help with audits and to file back taxes, the experts at Platinum Tax Defenders are tax professionals who can help you with not only filing a tax return amendment, but they can also help you prepare for the next tax season to ensure no errors are made on your future tax returns.

For more information from top tax defenders on filing a tax return amendment, call 1- 1-800-385-6840.

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Sherri Gastelum
since: 07/2012
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