You filed your taxes, sent them in, and then you realize you made a mistake. Maybe you notice your tax return amount is lower than you expected and you find a miscalculation in your filings. Or you suddenly remember you forgot to report some of your income. No matter what kind of mistake you made, if it was done unintentionally, you are usually able to easily amend it.
How do I fix my mistake?
If your mistake is on a W-2 or 1099 form, the IRS will usually find the mistake before you realize you made one. In this case, they will send you a Notice CP2000, which tells you that they recalculated your return and sent you a bill or a refund for the money you owe or they owe you. The IRS will also contact you if you did not send in all the information needed or the mistake is simply mathematical.
If you notice a mistake and the IRS doesn’t contact you, then you will need to amend the tax return yourself. Some reasons people send in an amended return is to change their amount of dependents, update their total income or claim tax credits and/or deductions they didn’t originally claim on the return. To amend a return, you must send in a Form 1040X on paper (there is no digital form for an amended return), along with any additional forms or schedules attached to your taxes. You must file this form within three years of the original tax return, especially if you are claiming a refund, and should expect the new return to take about 12 weeks to process.
What if the mistake is the fault of the IRS?
The people who make up the IRS are human, too, and mistakes do happen. It’s extremely important to take a look at your own tax return and make sure the calculations are correct. If you happen to find a mistake, the same Form 1040X should be sent, along with an explanation of why you feel their calculations were incorrect.
Will I be audited?
As long as you send in the appropriate forms and work to fix the problem, it is highly unlikely that the IRS will penalize you or conduct an audit on your finances. Even if you don’t realize the mistake for some time, the IRS is likely to forgive smaller mishaps with tax returns and will give you time to fix the problem once you become aware of it.
If you made a mistake on your taxes and are worried about the IRS, or received a notice from the IRS about your tax return, contact the tax professionals at Levy Tax & Associates. We can be reached at 1-800-TAX-LEVY or on our website.