What is an amended tax return?

Filing a tax return can be tricky, especially if you’re trying to prepare the form yourself.  Filing your own taxes can be especially difficult if you’re a small business owner, you’re claiming lots of deductions, or you’re trying to account for certain carryover deductions, such as losses, charitable contributions, or various types of tax credits. It’s also worth noting that if you make one or more math or clerical errors, you may need to file an amended tax return.

For example, one individual we spoke with said he needed to file an amended 2016 return. When he filed that year, he worked with an inexperienced accountant. Not only did the accountant enter a wrong street address for him when he filed, they made several other clerical errors. And while the individual we spoke with said he didn’t catch the errors before the return was filed, the CPA he worked with the following year picked up on them right away. The CPA not only helped him file an amended return, the man also learned he was due to receive a $13,000 refund.  

Another couple we spoke with reported a similar situation. The accountant they were working with told them they’d owe approximately $16,000 on her 2020 taxes, but, since they had a complicated return, their neighbor suggested they sit down with his CPA. The CPA noted several mistakes on their 2018 and 2019 returns and said he wanted to amend them. Upon completion, the couple not only learned they did not owe money on their 2020 return, but they too, were entitled to a sizable refund.

There are numerous other reasons (in addition to math and clerical errors) that an amended return would need to be filed, such as claiming the wrong tax filing status, accidentally omitting a tax credit or deduction, or forgetting to claim taxable income, among others.

Suffice to say, if you suspect that one or more of your previous tax returns contained errors, you’ll want to meet with a licensed, experienced CPA to learn if you should file an amended return.

For more information on how amended tax returns work, when you should file one, or you have questions about how long you have to file a corrected return with the IRS, we can help. Call Hughes, Snell and Co., PA today to speak with an expert. What are you waiting for? Call our office today to get started.