Amended tax returns are not something most American taxpayers have to deal with. But they are an important tool to help resolve certain issues. Can an amended return help you solve your IRS tax problems? The answer may be yes, and for some surprising reasons. Here are four of the most common ways.
1. To Remove Problematic Elements
If the IRS has flagged or taken issue with a particular item on your tax return, you may still be able to remove it by amending the return. If you can prove the validity of your return, of course, you may not want to simply give up and change your claim. But it could be a wise course of action if the amount isn't significant or if you may not have a strong enough case to win your argument.
2. To Prevent Problems in Other Years
Did the IRS have problems with something on a prior year's return? Perhaps they disallowed a tax credit or deduction, for instance, or they claim your business was really a hobby. If so, make sure you aren't going to run into the same problem in other tax years. Amend returns that have already been filed so that you don't create more trouble for yourself.
3. To Find More Money
If the IRS says you owe them more money, the first place to look for it is on other tax returns. Have you left money on the table in any other years? If so, this could help you pay off your tax bill. You can amend returns up to several years old if you made any errors, missed deductions or credits, or could do better by filing jointly or separately with your spouse.
4. To Refile Separately From a Spouse
For some couples, only one spouse is the one with the IRS tax problems. They may have misreported income, include items that are red flags for the IRS, or owe prior unpaid taxes. The other spouse, though, can sometimes extricate themselves from this trouble by separating their taxes from their partner. This may be done by amending to file separately and possibly by then claiming innocent or injured spouse relief.
Where to Start
Could an amendment help you in one or more of these ways? While it's not the solution to every IRS tax problem, it can fix a number of them. Start by learning more about your options. Meet with an IRS tax problem consultant today to begin.