If you make a mistake on a tax return, the government is likely to let you hear about it. Therefore, it is better that you correct the error before that happens. While you may have to pay the balance owed and interest, it may be possible to avoid a large financial penalty. Depending on the scope of the error, amending a return could help you avoid criminal charges as well.
Check Your Records to Confirm the Error
Before you amend a return, it is important to be sure that an error actually occurred. Ideally, you will review the original return as well as any documents that you used as the basis filling out the return. In some cases, this may mean consulting with your Las Vegas CPA or contacting other sources for documentation. Once you have identified and confirmed the error, the next step is to fill out Form 1040X.
How to Fill Out and Submit Form 1040X
Filling out a 1040X is just like filling out the original 1040A or 1040EZ used when submitting your original tax return. if necessary, you can have your accountant complete the form for you. Computer software programs may also be able to assist in the process of amending a return. Once the form is completed, a paper copy must be mailed to the IRS. The new return will take as many as 16 weeks to process.
You Could Get a Refund
It is important to know that you could get a refund after filing your amended return. This could happen if you forget to claim a deduction or credit that you were entitled to because of a lack of paperwork or other issues. Such a scenario could also unfold if you accidentally claimed income twice or forgot to take a legitimate business expense.