"I need to amend my 2003 taxes. I know the deadline is 3 years, but is that 3 years from when I filed my paperwork, or is it 31 Dec 2006?"You should file an amended tax return if you need to correct any information on a previously filed tax return. You can correct your filing status, income, deductions, or tax credits. You should not file an amended return if you are only correcting math errors, as the IRS computers will check your math, and the IRS would send you a notice alerting you of any errors in your arithmetic.
Revising your tax return is done by filing an amendment. You use Form 1040X, plus a new Form 1040, and any necessary schedules and forms. Amended tax returns have to be filed on paper, and they can take 8 to 12 weeks for the IRS to process.
The time limit for correcting your tax return depends on what information you are correcting and how it impacts your refund or balance due. You have three years from the original filing deadline to claim a tax refund. This is one of the statute of limitations in the tax code.
So, to answer your question. If you are amending your tax return and claiming an additional tax refund, be sure to file your amendment within three years of the original filing deadline. The deadline for your 2003 tax return was April 15, 2004. So the deadline to claim any additional refund is April 15, 2007. And since the 15th falls on a Sunday, I expect the IRS to grant taxpayers an extra day to file. However, the sooner you can submit your amendment, the sooner the IRS can process your amendment.
And here's one final tip for filing your amendment. Mail the tax return by certified mail with return-receipt requested, or hand-deliver the return to your local IRS office. If you hand-deliver the return, the IRS agent will make a photocopy of the first page of your return, and stamp the photocopy with a dated received stamp. Either of these documents (proof of delivery or the receipt stamp) provides proof of when you filed your return, and may be essential for protecting your refund if you are mailing the return close to the deadline.
- Filing an Amended Return
- Tips for Preparing Form 1040X
- What to Expect from the IRS
- Time Limits for Refunds, Audits, and Collections
- IRS Instructions for Form 1040X