1996 Tax Help Archives  

Amended Returns

This is archived information that pertains only to the 1996 Tax Year. If you
are looking for information for the current tax year, go to the Tax Prep Help Area.

Many people realize that they have made errors on returns that have already been mailed. If the errors are in arithmetic, the service center will usually correct them.

If forms or schedules were left out, the service center will request additional information from you. You need not file an amended return.

However, if you find that you did not report some income, you claimed deductions or credits you should not have claimed, you failed to claim some deductions or credits you are entitled to, or you should have used a different filing status, you should file an amended return.

The form you use to correct the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ you already have filed is Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. If you file Form 1040X to claim an additional refund, you should wait until after you have received the refund from the original return to avoid a possible delay in processing. If you OWE additional tax for 1996, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax by April 15, 1997, to avoid penalty and interest.

Form 1040X is designed with three columns. Column A is used to show original or adjusted figures from the original return.

Column C is used to show the correct figures. The difference between the figures in Columns A and C is shown in Column B. There is an area on the back of the form to explain the specific changes being made on the return and the reason for each change. If the changes involve another schedule or form, attach it to the 1040X. For example, if you are filing a 1040X because you have a qualifying child and now want to claim the Earned Income Credit, you must attach a Schedule E-I-C to show the qualifying person's name and social security number. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending.

Generally, to claim a refund, Form 1040X must be filed within 3 years from the date you filed your original return or within 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

If you are filing more than one amended return, be sure to mail each in a separate envelope to the service center for the area in which you live. The instructions for completing Form 1040X list the addresses for the service centers.

Your state tax liability may be affected by a change made on your federal income tax return. For more information on how to correct your state tax return, contact your state tax agency.

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