- Days left

How to Amend a Tax Return

×
How to Amend a Tax Return
Cassandra Hubbart, DailyFinance
By Kimberly Lankford

Q: When I was doing my 2012 tax return this year, I realized that I could have claimed the child-care credit for my son's summer camp expenses in 2011, but I didn't know I qualified then. Is it too late to get the money?


A: It's not too late. You have up to three years after the due date of your return to file an amended return and claim the credit. The child-care credit is a frequently overlooked tax break for people who have kids under age 13 and pay for child care so they can work or look for work. The cost of a nanny, babysitter, day care, preschool, before-school and after-school care, and day camp during summer and school vacations can all count. The credit can be worth up to $600 to $1,050 if you have one child, or $1,200 to $2,100 if you have two or more children. The lower your income, the larger the credit, but many people don't realize that there's no income cutoff to qualify. See Take a Tax Break for Summer Camp for details.

File an amended return by submitting Form 1040X. You don't need to refile your whole return you just need to mark the year of the return you're amending at the top of the form, note the changes you're making, and include revised copies of any supplemental forms that are affected (such as Form 2441 for the child-care credit, or Schedule A for changes to itemized deductions see IRS.gov for the forms). If the change lowers your tax liability, the IRS will send you a refund, complete with interest (the current rate is 3%) back to the original due date of the return. It usually takes up to 12 weeks for the IRS to process amended returns.

See the Instructions for Form 1040X and the IRS's amended return page for more information. You can check on the status of your amended return after you file using the Where's My Amended Return? tool starting three weeks after you file your amended return.

Reducing your federal income tax could also lower your state income tax liability. File your amended return first, then get a copy of the transcript of your account from the IRS (confirming that you amended your federal return) and file an amended state return, with a copy of your Form 1040X.

Before you file your amended return, go through our list of the Most-Overlooked Tax Deductions to see if you've missed any other tax breaks.

More from Kiplinger:


Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

What is Inflation?

Why do prices go up?

View Course »

Advice for Recent College Grads

Prepare yourself for the "real world".

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

How to Itemize Taxes When Claiming Dependents

Claiming dependents and itemizing deductions is an effective way to save money on your income taxes. Each dependent you claim allows you to reduce your taxable income by one exemption. Get a step-by-step overview on how to take advantage of itemizing your taxes when claiming dependents in this article on tax tips.

What Extra Tax Deductions Should I Make Sure To Take?

The federal government offers tax deductions and credits to reduce taxable income under certain circumstances. There are several that are often overlooked, including deductions for job hunting, caregiver expenses for dependents and children while you work, a credit to reduce taxes for moderate- to low-income earners and the premium tax credit associated with the Affordable Care Act. TurboTax can help determine if you qualify for these credits and deductions.

Know The Key Dates For Health Care Reform

"Open enrollment periods for the health insurance marketplace under the Affordable Care Act are limited" says Mac Schneider, a retired certified public accountant from Albion, Michigan. ?Avoiding tax penalties requires awareness of important dates that may vary year-to-year.? As well as key dates, there are time cycles and coverage gap allowances important to health insurance coverage under provisions of health care reform.

What Is Form 8941: Credit for Small Employer Health Insurance Premiums

Small business owners who subsidize the cost of employee health insurance premiums may be able to get some of that money back by claiming the credit for small employer health insurance premiums on their taxes. Some of the eligibility requirements, however, limit the number of people a business can employ and the average annual wages they earn. Qualifying as a small employer can reduce your tax bill by the amount of the credit you report on Form 8941.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum