Amending Returns

Today TaxMama hears from Mike in Pennsylvania who wants to know. “How far back can I submit an amended return?”

Dear Mike,

The easy answer is – forever. If you want to change or correct information in a previous tax return, you’re welcome to submit the corrected information anytime you like. Use Form 1040X.
http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/f1040x.pdf

However, when it comes to getting refunds for additional expenses, or lower income, generally, you’re limited to three years after the tax return was filed, or after the due date, if it was filed before April 15th. http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc308.html

Of course, there are special instances where you can file amended returns for more years, and still receive your refund:

·Net operating losses can be carried back as many as 5 years.

·For certain bad debts or worthless securities, you may amend as far back as 7 years from the date the debt or security became worthless.
·There may be special provisions for folks in disaster areas and active duty military.

As to extra income you may have discovered in prior years. IRS can only go back and open your tax return for three years after it is filed. Of course, if you left out a hefty amount of income, IRS is entitled to re-open your tax return for 6 years.
http://www.taxmama.com/resources/shopbook.html#statute

And remember, you can find answers to all kinds of questions about amended returns and other tax issues, free. Where? Where else? At TaxMama.com

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