Did you make a mistake on your federal income tax return but didn’t catch it until after you filed?

Maybe an important tax document arrived in the mail days after you e-filed your return. Don’t worry, you’re not in trouble — as long as you file an amended tax return to correct the error.

Filing an amended tax return gives you the chance to correct tax forms you’ve already filed, even if the mistake or omission is on an old return. Here’s what you need to know about how to file an amended tax return.

If you’ve discovered an error on tax forms submitted to the IRS, your first step is to figure out whether the mistake is one the IRS will correct for you or if you need to act.

The purpose of an amended return is to correct an error on the original return or to include additional information not previously reported.

This doesn’t mean you need to notify the IRS of every little error or omission. If you simply forgot a form or made a basic math error, the IRS will either correct it for you or send out a request for missing info.

You do, however, need to notify the IRS right away if the error is a big one that affects your tax obligation. Examples of mistakes that should prompt you to submit an amended return include any of the following:

  • Submitting taxes with the incorrect filing status
  • Misreporting your income
  • Claiming the wrong number of dependents  
  • Forgetting to claim credits or tax deductions
  • Misreporting your housing allowance
  • W-2 corrections


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Clergy Financial Resources serves as a resource for clients to help analyze the complexity of clergy tax law, church payroll & HR issues. Our professionals are committed to helping clients stay informed about tax news, developments and trends in various specialty areas.

This article is intended to provide readers with guidance in tax matters. The article does not constitute, and should not be treated as professional advice regarding the use of any particular tax technique. Every effort has been made to assure the accuracy of the information. Clergy Financial Resources and the author do not assume responsibility for any individual’s reliance upon the information provided in the article. Readers should independently verify all information before applying it to a particular fact situation, and should independently determine the impact of any particular tax planning technique. If you are seeking legal advice, you are encouraged to consult an attorney.

For more information or if you need additional assistance, please use the contact information below.

Clergy Financial Resources
11214 86th Avenue N.
Maple Grove, MN 55369

Tel: (888) 421-0101 
Fax: (888) 876-5101
Email: clientservices@clergyfinancial.com


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