Amended Returns Are Possible

It happens to the best of us; you file your tax return and breathe a sigh of relief that it’s all over, only to suddenly realize that there’s been some kind of omission. Maybe you forgot about some income or interest that was earned, or realized too late that you could have deducted a charitable contribution or taken some other credit. Whether what you overlooked means that you owe the government or the government owes you, the best thing that you can do is to file an amended tax return as quickly as possible.

When What You Forgot Means the Government Owes You

This is something of a no brainer. What could be better than realizing that because you left something out, you may be entitled to a bigger refund? It’s pretty obvious that you’d want to get an amended tax return in as quickly as possible when it means you’ve got money coming. But what about when you owe the government? 

When What You Forgot Means You Owe the Government

When you realize that you forgot to report income, it’s tempting to sit back and wait to see whether the IRS will discover the mistake – or at least to wait until they do to give yourself time before you have to pay up. Here’s the problem with that thinking: the government will eventually figure it out, and conduct an inquiry. That may take a year or longer, and once they do their calculations then you’ll not only owe the shortfall, but also the penalties for late payment and the interest that has built up on the amount that you owe. 

It’s Okay to Make a Mistake If You Correct It

The government understands that errors or omissions happen. That’s why they provide the opportunity to file an amended return. Whether you have to correct a filing status, change the number of dependents claimed on a return, claim a credit you forgot you were entitled to, or submit a K-1 that arrived late, sending in an amended return as soon as possible after you discover the mistake is the best route to take.  

The government gives you the later of up to three years from the time your return was originally filed to send in an amended return, or two years from when you actually paid the tax. If you are uncertain as to how to prepare an amended tax return, or what the implications will be, contact our office for more information.

Need to file an amended return? Give us a call at (770) 268-3434 and we'll help.