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.
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.