Amending Your Tax Return Won’t Hurt a Bit

Fuzzy MathIf you had a D’oh on your Form 1040, don't fret.

People make tax mistakes all the time—math errors and wrong or missing Social Security numbers top the IRS list of boo-boos—but there are many others.

If you received a 1099 after you filed your return—or you just realized that you should have itemized instead of claiming the standard deduction—there's a good chance you can fix your faux pas.

File an amended return called Form 1040X—the sooner the better. If you're due some extra money, you want that cash in your pocket ASAP. If it looks like you underpaid (yikes), the quicker you file, the fewer penalties or interest you’ll likely suffer.

Generally, you have up to three years after you’ve filed your return to amend it—or within two years after you paid the tax, whichever is later. If you filed early (you go-getter), your return is considered filed on April 15.

If you are amending, be sure to go over your Form 1040X with a fine-tooth comb before licking that envelope.

If you need more specific help, you can contact the IRS or a CPA.

Come clean. What was your worst tax mistake?

K.M. Pittman is a CPA in Hampton Roads, Virginia.

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended to be and does not constitute accounting, tax or financial advice from a professional accountant or other tax advisor. You are advised not to act upon this information without seeking the services of a professional accountant or other tax advisor. Neither the author nor the publisher assume any liability or responsibility for any errors or omissions in the content of this article.