Making Sure You Meet the Deadline for Filing Your Amended Federal Income Tax Return

IRS Form 1040X Recently, U.S. taxpayers witnessed the passing of another “Tax Day.” While almost everyone knows that April 15 is the deadline for filing your previous year’s federal individual income tax return, some taxpayers may find that they need to submit filings regarding tax years prior to 2014. For those taxpayers who discover the need to file an amended return for a previous year, it is extremely important to be mindful of the deadline for filing those documents, especially if the amendment will generate a refund for you.

The Internal Revenue Service requires taxpayers to file IRS Form 1040X when the taxpayer seeks to amend an already-filed return. According to Section 6511(a) of the Tax Code, you typically must file your Form 1040X within three years of the date on which you filed your original Form 1040, or else within two years of the date when you paid the tax (whichever is later.)

If you have errors in multiple years requiring you to amend multiple returns, the IRS requires you to file a separate Form 1040X for each year’s return that you need to amend and mail each Form 1040X (and related documents) separately. In addition to preparing your Form 1040X, you will also need new schedules or forms that contain the corrected or changed information. For instance, if you are amending your return to itemize deductions, you’ll need a new Schedule A and a Form 1040, in addition to the Form 1040X. Part III of the Form 1040X calls for an explanation of the reason for the changes. It is helpful if the information in Section III is detailed and precise.

You can use Form 1040X to make many changes to your taxes, including changing your filing status. In the summer of 2013, after the US Supreme Court struck down parts of the federal Defense of Marriage Act, the IRS ruled that same-sex couples who were legally married could use Form 1040X to change their status from single to married on previous returns, provided the original return was filed recently enough to allow the changes (and refund request) to qualify as timely filed.

If you made a claim for a refund and the IRS rejected your claim, you still have options. Section 7422 of the Tax Code allows you to sue for a refund. The law requires you to wait at least six months after you filed your claim. However, you must act within two years of the date that the IRS disallowed your claim, unless you and the IRS agree in writing to extend this period beyond the two-year deadline.

Filing an amended income tax return and seeking a refund requires timely action and careful attention to detail in order to meet all of the Tax Code’s requirements. For knowledgeable advice and reliable representation in pursuing your amendment and refund, consult the New Jersey tax attorneys at Samuel C. Berger, P.C. and CPAs at S.C. Berger, P.C. To reach our attorneys and CPAs, contact us online or call (201) 587-1500 or (212) 380-8117.

Contact us through our website or call to schedule a free, confidential initial consultation today.

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