What happens if you filed your expat taxes by the June deadline, but realized that you completed the form incorrectly or forgot to report some of your income? Fortunately, it’s possible to file an amended US expat tax return and it’s important that you do so, in order to prevent problems later. Here’s what you should know.
Filing an Amended Return
While the thought of making a mistake on your US expat tax return might make you nervous, the IRS has a method for allowing you to make changes using Form 1040X. This form allows you to make changes to previously filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. The steps you should take to amend your return are as follows:
- Write the year of the US Tax Return you’re amended at the top of the form. In most cases, you must file the amended version within 3 years of the date of the original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
- If the changes involve a separate schedule or form, you will need to attach that schedule or form to the amended return.
- Claiming an additional refund? You should wait until you’ve received the original refund before you file Form 1040X.
- If you owe additional taxes, you should file an amended return and pay the tax prior to the due date. This will limit the interest and penalties that could accrue, as interest in charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return.
- You must submit the amended form via mail – not electronically. If you’re amending additional returns from prior years, each correction should be submitted on its own form and sent its own envelope.
When An Amendment Isn’t Needed
There are some instances where amending your return isn’t necessary. If the error was due to a math miscalculation, the IRS will automatically correct this on your return. Also, if you forgot to attach certain tax forms (like W2s or schedules), the IRS will send a request for the missing documents. In cases like this, filing Form 1040X would not be required. You can read more about IRS requests for information here.
What Happens Next
If you find that your expatriate tax return has errors that warrants filing an amended return via Form 1040X, you can expect it to take 8-12 weeks for the IRS to process once you’ve submitted it. It’s possible that your state tax liability could be affected by changes you’ve made to your US taxes. If state tax changes are needed, contact your state tax agency to determine next steps.
In any event, know that filing an amended US expat tax return is a completely normal thing to do and not something you should be concerned about. If you’re unsure whether you need to correct anything or add additional forms or schedules, it’s a good idea to consult with an expat tax professional to discuss what’s required for your tax situation.
Have Questions About Filing an Amended US Expat Tax Return?
Our team of expert accountants is here to help make filing expat taxes a hassle-free experience – contact us today to discuss your US tax obligations and ensure you’ve met all requirements.