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I Am Filing An Amended 1040 Tax Return

Ahhhh, I messed up! Sometimes it pays to get a professional and just this past tax filing season I made a small mistake that turned into a minor inconvenience that, luckily since I caught it, didn’t get any worse than it could’ve. What happened was that I messed up my taxes and was underreporting my business income by a significant amount and so I had to file the awesome 1040X Amended Return form in order to repair the error (since it was in my favor, which is bad). The plus side is that I found it before the filing deadline so there will be no penalties.

Filing the 1040X was pretty easy but TurboTax didn’t do a great job in generating it so I resorted to filling it out by hand with a head star from TurboTax. Since I had e-filed about a month ago, the return had already been accepted so I could proceed as normal. If it hadn’t, I would’ve been forced to wait until the e-file was reviewed and accepted (which only a day or so when I did it a month ago) before I could mail in my amended return. I owed a little bit more tax but, with the help of Kay from Don’t Mess With Taxes [3], I was able to sort everything out.

Some little headaches that shook out of this were:
SEP-IRA Contribution – With more income comes more of an employer contribution, which is good and bad I suppose. Either way I was able to sock a little more away for an old rainy day.
State taxes – Again, with more income comes more taxes and this time it was with the state of Maryland. The state amended form was also pretty easy to fill out and so it wasn’t too too bad, though TurboTax again was messed up.

TurboTax didn’t remember that I paid part of my taxes a month ago so in Line 17 of the 1040X, where you would’ve entered in how much you’ve already paid, it left it blank – which meant I would’ve been paying way too much. With the state return, it just assumed you paid for the whole thing already – which would’ve resulted in penalties and interest. So, double check your forms before you mail them off… sometimes you make the mistakes and sometimes your preparer does.

You might be wondering how I found my error a month later, or you might not, but I was calculating my total income for the year (not realizing it was on the header printout of the TurboTax form because they changed how it looked this year) when I noticed a discrepancy. When I flipped back to my return I saw that I had underreported income that didn’t appear on a 1099, I probably was in too much of a hurry to finish and clicked past a question that I thought didn’t apply but really did. Either way, I found it so no harm, no foul so I’m pretty thankful.