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Friday, April 13, 2012
If you discover an error on your federal income tax return after you e-filed or mailed it, you may want or need to amend your return. Perhaps you are eligible for a deduction or credit and you missed it the first time?
Here are eight key points the IRS wants you to know about when considering whether to file an amended federal income tax return.
1. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to file an amended income tax return.
2. Use Form 1040X to correct previously filed Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. An amended return cannot be e-filed; you must file it by paper.
3. Generally, you do not need to file an amended return to correct math errors. The IRS will automatically make that correction. Also, do not file an amended return because you forgot to attach tax forms such as W-2s or schedules. The IRS normally will send a request asking for those.
4. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Generally, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
5. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes to the appropriate IRS campus. The 1040X instructions list the addresses for the campuses.
6. If the changes involve another schedule or form, you must attach that schedule or form to the amended return.
7. If you are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund.
8. If you owe additional 2011 tax, file Form 1040X and pay the tax before the due date to limit interest and penalty charges that could accrue on your account. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return, without regard to extensions.
Friday, April 6, 2012
If you need to make a payment with your tax return this year, the IRS wants you to know about its payment options. Here are 10 important facts to help you make your tax payment correctly.
1. Never send cash!
2. If you file electronically, you can file and pay in a single step by authorizing an electronic funds withdrawal via tax preparation software or a tax professional.
3. Whether you file a paper return or electronically, you can pay by phone or online using a credit or debit card.
4. Electronic payment options provide an alternative to checks or money orders. You can pay taxes or user fees 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Visit the IRS website at www.irs.gov and search e-pay, or refer to Publication 3611, Electronic Payments for more details.
5. If you itemize, you may be able to deduct the convenience fee charged for paying individual income taxes with a credit or debit card as a miscellaneous itemized deduction on Form 1040, Schedule A, Itemized Deductions. The deduction is subject to the 2 percent limit.
6. If you file on paper, you can enclose your payment with your return but do not staple it to the form.
7. If you pay by check or money order, make sure it is payable to the “United States Treasury.”
8. Always provide on the front of your check or money order your correct name, address, Social Security number listed first on the tax form, daytime telephone number, tax year and form number.
9. Complete and include Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, when mailing your payment to the IRS. Double-check the IRS mailing address. This will help the IRS process your payment accurately and efficiently.
10. For more information, call 800-829-4477 and select TeleTax Topic 158, Ensuring Proper Credit of Payments. You can also find out more in Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax and Form 1040-V, both available at www.irs.gov or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).
Tuesday, April 3, 2012
If you owe tax with your federal tax return, but can't afford to pay it all when you file, the IRS wants you to know your options and help you keep interest and penalties to a minimum.
Here are five tips:
1. File your return on time and pay as much as you can with the return. These steps will eliminate the late filing penalty, reduce the late payment penalty and cut down on interest charges. For electronic and credit card options for paying see IRS.gov. You may also mail a check payable to the United States Treasury
2. Consider obtaining a loan or paying by credit card. The interest rate and fees charged by a bank or credit card company may be lower than interest and penalties imposed by the Internal Revenue Code.
3. Request an installment payment agreement. You do not need to wait for IRS to send you a bill before requesting a payment agreement. Options for requesting an agreement include:
• Using the Online Payment Agreement application and
• Completing and submitting IRS Form 9465-FS, Installment Agreement Request, with your return IRS charges a user fee to set up your payment agreement. See www.irs.gov or the installment agreement request form for fee amounts.
4. Request an extension of time to pay. For tax year 2011, qualifying individuals may request an extension of time to pay and have the late payment penalty waived as part of the IRS Fresh Start Initiative. To see if you qualify visit www.irs.gov and get form 1127-A, Application for Extension of Time for Payment. But hurry, your application must be filed by April 17, 2012.
5. If you receive a bill from the IRS, please contact us immediately to discuss these and other payment options. Ignoring the bill will only compound your problem and could lead to IRS collection action.
If you can’t pay in full and on time, the key to minimizing your penalty and interest charges is to pay as much as possible by the tax deadline and the balance as soon as you can. For more information on the IRS collection process go to or see IRSVideos.gov/OweTaxes.