Some 2017 expired tax breaks are back!
IRS cops going after tax evading cryptocurrency accounts

File 1040X if you now can claim an unexpectedly renewed 2017 tax break

Since Congress decided to slip some expired tax breaks into the budget bill enacted earlier today and make them retroactive to the 2017 tax year, some folks will be amending the 1040 forms they've already filed.

Irs-form-1040x-amend-tax-return-mistake_cropped

Ignore that smirking sound loud enough to make it onto the internet. It's the perpetually procrastinating hubby being all smug about how sometimes it does pay to put things off for a while.

However, if, unlike the hubby, you don't defer tasks and were an early tax filer who now can claim, for example, the tuition and fees above-the-line tax deduction, you're probably already working on amending your original 2017 return.

I hate to say this, but whoa up.

When to file: The first question most folks have when considering amending a tax return is, how soon is too soon to file Form 1040X?

While the Internal Revenue Service has a time limit on how long you can take to amend a filing — you must file Form 1040X within three years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within two years after the date you paid the tax — it doesn't limit how quickly you send in an amended form.

You can, for example, file your original tax return on Monday and then send in an amended return on Tuesday. But that could cause some confusion.

That's why tax pros and the IRS itself recommend that if you're filing Form 1040X because you're claiming a tax break you overlooked — or that wasn't available when you filed! Thanks, Congress! — and it will get you a bigger refund than you got on your original filing, then wait.

Specifically, wait until after you get your original filing's refund amount before filing your 1040X to get even more.

You don't have to wait, however, to cash the first tax refund check or spend the cash that Treasury directly deposited into your bank account.

How to file: And you don't have to wait to get your 1040X ready to send. Go ahead and fill out the form so you can drop it in a U.S. Postal Service box as soon as your get your refund.

Today's Daily Tax Tip has more on filling out your Form 1040X.

And yes, you read right. You must send an amended return the old-fashioned, snail mail way.

The IRS promises that one day that we will be able to e-file Form 1040X, but that's not an option yet.

Then wait some more: Getting your Form 1040X is ready to mail the minute your original filing refund arrives is a good idea.

You want the amended filing on its way as soon as possible because the IRS says it could take up to 16 weeks for it to process your revised return.

Yep, 16 weeks.

At least you can track its status online during that time by using the IRS' Where's My Amended Return? app.

While you're waiting, you can let your members of Congress know how happy (you noticed that sarcasm font, right?) you are about having to re-do your taxes and waiting for up to four months for your additional tax refund.

Advertisement

Comments

Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Kay Bell

Ernest, It was part of the budget deal signed into law on Feb. 9. The IRS should issue guidance shortly on amending returns that have been filed or claiming this if you haven't filed yet. Kay

Ernest Hall

Reading Form 5695 (Residential Energy Credit) I understand the deduction expired in 20116. However, the part II was reserved for future use, Did congress offer in change to this for 2017 by after pubilcation?

Taxaroni

Tax Forms and Tax Software have not yet been updated for the extenders, so filling out the 1040X now isn't going to work. You're going to have to wait until the IRS updates the forms, and the software companies implement the changes.

Tax Phan

I believe there is an option to file a “superseding return” before the due date, so that you don’t have to go through the process of preparing the 1040X in addition to the 1040. Do you know any pros or cons to doing so? I know some states don’t allow superseding returns though.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Working...
Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.

Working...

Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)