Tax season is in full swing, and for many people this can be overwhelming. Tax laws are complex, and recent changes in the tax code drastically changed how many people prepare their returns and anticipate refunds or necessary payments. Unfortunately, this process can also bring to light further complications if a person or business realizes that they made errors or used incomplete information while filing taxes in a previous year.

If you find that you need to amend a tax return, it is wise to take this matter seriously and give it the attention and resources that it deserves. Failing to straighten out these issues can lead to problems with the Internal Revenue Service, which are famously difficult to navigate. Make sure that you have proper legal guidance and resources as you amend a tax return, to keep your rights protected and ensure that you do not create even greater problems.

Why amend a return?

There are several reasons why a person may wish to amend a tax return. Typically, these fall into three categories:

  • The filer failed to report a source of income, or misrepresented income
  • The filer claimed deductions or credits improperly
  • The filer failed to claim rightful deductions and credits
  • The filer used the wrong status when filing

If you believe that your returns from a qualified previous year may include these errors or omissions, you should amend those returns. Ideally, amending a return may have a positive impact on your tax obligations, or at the very least keep you from further trouble with the IRS.

Is the IRS already involved?

If the IRS is already aware of issues with your returns, then you should make your next moves carefully. Despite recent headlines that imply that the agency is overloaded this season, it is never, ever wise to ignore a tax issue or address it with half measures.

Your financial world could suffer tremendously if you find yourself stuck in a complicated tax battle with the IRS. Do not make the mistake of underestimating the resources or power of the agency and its ability to make your life very difficult.

Fortunately, there are typically a number of steps you can take to resolve any discrepancies in your returns before any major consequences are on the table. The sooner that you begin building a legal strategy to keep your rights secure, the sooner that you can put the whole matter behind you.