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Amended tax returns: using Form 1040X effectively

The U.S. tax code is exceedingly complex. It is packed with provisions on a host of subjects that affect taxpayers in different ways. Figuring out the right deductions, credits, exemptions and so on is no easy task. That is one reason why so many Americans use professional tax preparers.

The fact that there is uncertainty about something in the code does not stop the train, however, when it comes to complying with the filing deadline for federal income taxes. Like a rite of spring, that deadline comes every year in mid-April, usually right on April 15.

There are times, however, when taxpayers in Texas and across the country may need to amend their returns. In this post, let's look at some of the tips the IRS offers for doing this.

The reasons that require an amendment vary from taxpayer to taxpayer. They could concern corrections on such things as income, filing status or the use of tax credits or deductions.

Naturally, as with most things connected with the IRS, there is a form involved. The name of it is Form 1040X. This form lists numerous reasons why an amended return may be in order.

Keep in mind that an amended return cannot be e-filed. Even if you e-filed your original return, you'll have to do Form 1040X in order to amend it.

Make sure to include any additional tax schedules or forms that are associated with your return. Like Form 1040X, this additional information should also be submitted in paper form.

On its Web site, the IRS tells taxpayer to expect 8 to 12 weeks of processing time for amended returns. But taxpayers who are expecting a refund from their original returns are encouraged to wait for that refund before initiating an amended return.

Source: IRS.gov, "IRS Offers Tips on How to Amend Your Tax Return," IRS Summertime Tax Tip 2013-20, August 16, 2013

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