Let me tell you, as a tax professional, one of the biggest pains is amending tax returns.
Even years after most “normal” returns went electronic, any changes to a previously filed return needed to be done on paper, snail mail it in, and wait patiently for processing.
As of this summer, taxpayers will be able to make amends to their returns electronically, via the new Form 1040X.
Now, some of you might wonder why you’d need to amend a return, and that’s a valid question.
The simple answer is this: maybe you missed a deduction, forgot about some income, or realized after filing there was an inaccuracy in your return. Trust me, it happens all the time!
The IRS has been working on this problem for a while now, and, to their credit, they have been improving the process incrementally. Until recently, though, the closest you got was being able to complete the forms electronically, then mail them in.
Starting now, though? Taxpayers and preparers will be able to sort out these minor annoyances far faster. Like anything with the IRS, of course, there is a catch – we will only be able to use Form 1040X for 2019 returns going forward. Any changes to 2018 or earlier will stay within the old system. (Amendments generally only are done for a rolling three years.)
…And while this does make sorting out challenges easier, it does force me to remind you that amendments can get messy. If you consistently are having to file them, year after year, that may be a hint to look at how you keep records and how you document your tax keeping.
Even if you’re excited about amendments becoming m ore simplified, remember, they are intended to solve mistakes, not to be a regular part of the tax filing process. My team and I are happy to give you some ideas, systems, and processes to enable you to file everything properly the first time, so just ask!