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Understanding why and how to amend your taxes in Massachusetts

There are several guidelines people should follow when they want to amend an original tax return.

For many people in Massachusetts, filing personal taxes is a task they complete every spring. Although filers attempt to provide correct information and calculate the related figures as well as possible, many people make mistakes on their taxes. When this occurs, filers may want to consider amending their taxes and resubmitting their return for the prior year.

When to amend a return

There are a few main reasons why filers may need to amend their taxes. For example, according to the IRS, filers should amend their taxes if they need to correct the number of dependents claimed, their filing status or their total income. Filers should also amend their taxes if there are tax credits or deductions they did not claim when they submitted their original return.

Although filers may make a minor mistake on their taxes, this does not always warrant an amendment. For instance, filers who make math errors on their taxes do not have to worry about fixing them through the amendment process because generally speaking, the IRS corrects calculation mistakes when they review returns. Additionally, if a required schedule or form is not included, the IRS will send a request for the missing documentation.

How to amend taxes

While filing an amended tax return, with or without professional assistance, filers should make sure the following guidelines are followed:

  • A Form 1040X must be used, and this document cannot be filed electronically.
  • The year for which the amended return is needed should be added to the top of the Form 1040X. If an amendment is needed or desired, it must be done so either within two years from when the tax was paid or within three years from the original filing date, whichever is later.
  • Any additional schedules or forms that are affected by the amendment must be included.
  • If multiple returns are being filed, a 1040X must be filed for each one. They must also be divided into separate envelopes and sent to the correct IRS location.

Filers should also keep in mind that if they make changes on their federal tax return, their state tax liability can be affected.

Reach out to an attorney

Many people in Massachusetts, whether on an amended or original return, face significant penalties and interest for making errors on their taxes. When this occurs, filers should reach out to an attorney who can provide proper legal representation and guidance as a tax resolution is reached.