In an attempt to modernize their systems, the IRS announced last week that taxpayers and professionals will be able to electronically file Form 1040X via electronic means beginning Summer of 2020. This is a great first step, however, a lot more needs to be done.
For example, an electronic means of communication with the Service would be a great thing. With all the press to go green, you would think that all the paper that goes back and forth will end up in some landfill somewhere.
Currently taxpayers must paper file an amended return. The system has long been antiquated and cumbersome, causes delays and causes confusion amongst taxpayers. You have been able to e-file amended business tax returns for quite some time. E-filing amended personal returns would be the most logical next step for the agency.
Form 1040X is actually reviewed by a person, which was the cause for having to mail these forms in. However, there seems to be a changing of the guard at the IRS. When e-filing Form 1040X becomes available this summer, you will only be able to efile for 2019. All other years will have to be snail mailed to the Service.
I tend to think the US Postal Service is in business just because of tax professionals and the IRS. There was a time when you could contact the IRS via electronic means through e-services. However that practice was outlawed about 10 years ago.
Frankly, I applaud these recent changes at the Service and hope this is a way to open new doors at the IRS.
Craig W. Smalley, MST, EA, has been in practice since 1994. He has been admitted to practice before the IRS as an enrolled agent and has a master's in taxation. He is well-versed in US tax law and US Tax Court cases. He specializes in taxation, entity structuring and restructuring, corporations, partnerships, and individual taxation, as well as...