Advertisement
taxes

Amending Your Tax Return

While comparing my 2005 taxes to 2004, I realized I made a mistake on the 2004 return. Is it too late to fix the error?

While comparing my 2005 taxes to 2004, I realized I made a mistake on the 2004 return. Is it too late to fix the error?

It's not too late to make the change. You generally have up to three years after the original due date of your return to file an amended return if you've made a mistake or left out something. That gives you until April 15, 2008, to make changes to your 2004 return. And you have up to seven years to file an amended return for worthless stock. (For more information about those rules, and an example from Enron, see Writing Off Worthless Stock.)

Advertisement - Article continues below

To make the change, print out Form 1040X and fill in the numbers from your original return and then the changes you're making. You'll also need to submit the particular forms you're changing, such as Schedule A for changes to itemized deductions or Schedule C for changes to business expenses. For more information, see the IRS's Amending Your Tax Return and Instructions for 1040X. Also contact your state's department of revenue about amending your state income-tax return.

If the change lowers your taxable income, you could get a refund from the IRS. Before you make the change, though, keep in mind that it could affect other areas of your finances. Adding more business expenses, for example, will lower your self-employment income and may decrease the amount of money you could have contributed to a small-business retirement account in 2004.

Advertisement
Advertisement - Article continues below

For more information about your taxes, see our tax page and the Tax Answers column. For more information about tracking down the status of your refund and other post-deadline moves, see the IRS's The Deadline's Passed. Now What?

Advertisement

Most Popular

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for IRA or HSA contributions, paying estimated taxes and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your federa…
July 10, 2020
Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider
credit & debt

Know Why Your Credit Score Changes: 9 Money Moves to Consider

Your credit score is a key indicator of your financial well-being and of the risk you pose to lenders. How good is yours?
July 10, 2020
65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On
stocks

65 Best Dividend Stocks You Can Count On

These 65 Dividend Aristocrats are an elite group of dividend stocks that have reliably increased their annual payouts every year for at least a quarte…
July 8, 2020

Recommended

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)
tax deadline

12 Tax Deadlines for July 15 (It's Not Just the Due Date for Your Tax Return)

Between due dates for IRA or HSA contributions, paying estimated taxes and other deadlines, there's more to do by July 15 than just filing your federa…
July 10, 2020
Saver's Credit: A Retirement Tax Break for the Middle Class
Tax Breaks

Saver's Credit: A Retirement Tax Break for the Middle Class

Your retirement contributions could be the key to a lower tax bill.
July 9, 2020
8 Ways You Might Be Cheating on Your Taxes
taxes

8 Ways You Might Be Cheating on Your Taxes

Don't fall into these common traps that can get you in hot water with the IRS.
July 8, 2020
2020 Tax Deadline: When Are Tax Returns Due This Year?
tax deadline

2020 Tax Deadline: When Are Tax Returns Due This Year?

The April 15 deadline for filing your 2019 federal income tax return (and paying taxes) has been moved back...but the new due date is approaching fast…
July 8, 2020