amended returns - what does "or two years from when you paid the tax mean?"

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arcticpineapplecorp.
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amended returns - what does "or two years from when you paid the tax mean?"

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:27 pm

I'm helping review someone's taxes. They want to amend prior returns. They should have filed head of household but filed in prior years as single. They have provided 100% support for a dependent (adult son, unemployed no income for time period in question) who is a qualifying child/relative which is what makes them a head of household (larger standard deduction) instead of single, and why he wants to amend.

Looking at the irs site it says, "Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later."

I think he should file amended returns for 2015, 2016 and 2017 since it's three years from when he filed (he filed 2015 return by April of 2016 so that would be three years since then)...but I believe he paid tax in prior years (didn't get a refund).

I'm trying to understand what the "2 years after the date you paid the tax" means. Because he paid tax in prior years (didn't get a refund) does that affect his ability to file amended returns??

Any help is appreciated.
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

ivk5
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Re: amended returns - what does "or two years from when you paid the tax mean?"

Post by ivk5 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:46 pm

No, it’s fine for those years. A or B, whichever is LATER.

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Re: amended returns - what does "or two years from when you paid the tax mean?"

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:00 pm

ivk5 wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 1:46 pm
No, it’s fine for those years. A or B, whichever is LATER.
ok, but let's say he paid tax for 2015 on April 15, 2016 (didn't get a refund for 2015)...does that mean he would only have had 2 years from then...as in, he would have had to file amended for 2015 by April 2018 (two years from when he paid...that is, April 2016)???
"May you live as long as you want and never want as long as you live" -- Irish Blessing | "Invest we must" -- Jack Bogle

ivk5
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Re: amended returns - what does "or two years from when you paid the tax mean?"

Post by ivk5 » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:01 pm

4/15/2018 or 4/15/2019, whichever is later.

bryanm
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Re: amended returns - what does "or two years from when you paid the tax mean?"

Post by bryanm » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:09 pm

I believe the "or two years from when you paid the tax" is intended to capture late payments. So unless you paid more than 1 year late, the "3 years after the date you filed your original return" should be the date. (At least that's my initial read.)

Slightly different point, but I don't think we should equate getting a refund or not with "paying the tax." Refunds indicate overpayment, but that's still payment. Per this IRS site, "withholding is deemed to be tax paid on the due date." So whether you got a refund or paid your taxes in full on the due date, the IRS considers you to have paid on the due date.

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Re: amended returns - what does "or two years from when you paid the tax mean?"

Post by arcticpineapplecorp. » Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:13 pm

bryanm wrote:
Mon Mar 18, 2019 2:09 pm
I believe the "or two years from when you paid the tax" is intended to capture late payments. So unless you paid more than 1 year late, the "3 years after the date you filed your original return" should be the date. (At least that's my initial read.)

Slightly different point, but I don't think we should equate getting a refund or not with "paying the tax." Refunds indicate overpayment, but that's still payment. Per this IRS site, "withholding is deemed to be tax paid on the due date." So whether you got a refund or paid your taxes in full on the due date, the IRS considers you to have paid on the due date.
thanks. i thought the same, but wasn't sure. thanks everyone. looking over them now!
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Re: amended returns - what does "or two years from when you paid the tax mean?"

Post by bsteiner » Mon Mar 18, 2019 8:48 pm

Even if more than 3 years have passed since you filed, if you paid tax within the last 2 years, you can still file a refund claim, but only for the amount paid within the last 2 years.

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