Take Heed Before Filing 1040X on Amending Tax Returns

checking numbers

An accommodating IRS makes it relatively easy to correct mistakes on previous returns without the need to completely redo the returns or go through any complicated red tape. But there are concerns to take heed before filing an amendment.

Irs.gov is the place to get Form 1040X (Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return), a two-page form, and accompanying instructions on how to explain the reasons for the changes and how to compute refunds or balances due.

At the website, download any forms or schedules for the year being amended, as well as Publication 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund, for helpful information not contained in the instructions. Click on “Forms and Publications;” and then on “Previous Years.”

How the rules work. Let’s suppose that John and Blanche Bickerson plan to submit a 1040X for 2015 that claims additional deductions in three categories: her Schedule C (Profit or Loss From Business) listings for travel and entertainment and home-office expenses (calculated on Form 8829); his Form 3903 computation of job-related moving expenses; and their Schedule A itemized deductions for his job-search expenses. The Bickersons also now realize that they forgot to submit Form 2441, which is used to claim the credit for payments to caregivers for their children.

Paperwork. Their 1040X needs to be accompanied by corrected 2015 versions of: Forms 2441, 3903 and 8829; and Schedules A, C and SE (Self-Employment Tax).

Why is it important for Blanche to revise her Schedule SE? Those additional expenses for travel and entertainment and a home office don’t just reduce the 

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About Julian Block

Julian Block

Attorney and author Julian Block is frequently quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and the Washington Post. He has been cited as “a leading tax professional” (New York Times), an “accomplished writer on taxes” (Wall Street Journal), and “an authority on tax planning” (Financial Planning magazine). More information about his books can be found at julianblocktaxexpert.com


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