IRS Readies for Slew of Amended Returns

The IRS estimated last week that approximately 5 million taxpayers will amend their federal individual income tax returns by filing Form 1040X this year.

According to the nation’s tax-collection agency, taxpayers can use Form 1040X to do the following:

  • Correct forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ.
  • Make certain elections after the prescribed deadline.
  • Change amounts previously adjusted by the IRS.
  • Make a claim for a carryback due to a loss or unused credit.

The IRS noted last Friday that taxpayers who need to amend their returns should file a Form 1040X only after filing the original return. Generally, for a tax credit or refund, taxpayers must file Form 1040X within three years, including extensions, after the date they filed their original return or within two years after the date they paid the tax – whichever is later. For most people, this means that returns for tax year 2011 or later can still be amended.

The IRS is recommending that same-sex couples consider filing amended returns. A same-sex couple, legally married in a state or foreign country that recognizes their marriage, is now considered married for tax purposes. This is true regardless of whether the couple lives in a jurisdiction that recognizes same-sex marriage.

“For returns originally filed before September 16, 2013, legally married same-sex couples have the option of filing amended returns to change their filing status to married filing separately or married filing jointly,” the IRS noted. “But they are not required to change their filing status on a prior return, even if they amend that return for another reason. In either case, their amended return must be consistent with the filing status they have chosen.”

More information is available on the IRS website.

Because all amended returns must be filed on paper, allow up to 12 weeks for Form 1040X to be processed. Starting three weeks after filing their amended returns, taxpayers can use the “Where’s My Amended Tax Return?” tool on the IRS website to check the status.

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