IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

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black jack
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IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by black jack »

I received a CP12 for my 2018 return. The IRS says I made a mistake on my itemized deductions, which they corrected, increasing my itemized deduction and thus increasing my refund.

Great.

Except: I'm not sure they're right, and have no way to know until I see what change they made. The CP12 just shows how much they changed the amount (i.e., it shows my figure for my taxable income, and the IRS' figure), not what they changed.

At their "Get Transcript" page, the IRS says I can get copies of my return, but the copy won't show subsequent changes.

So (1) how do I find out exactly what change the IRS made to my Schedule A; and
(2) can I cash the refund check, even though I suspect I may have to send some of it back?
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neurosphere
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by neurosphere »

https://www.irs.gov/individuals/underst ... p12-notice
How can I find out what caused my tax return to change?
Please contact us at the toll-free number listed on the top right corner of your notice for specific information about your tax return.
But I wonder if they have anyone staffing the phones!
If you have to ask "Is a Target Date fund right for me?", the answer is "Yes".
Katietsu
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by Katietsu »

They had been staffing the phones so it is worth trying.

Have you tried to figure out where you may have short changed yourself on the Schedule A you filed? The IRS can only change your Schedule A using the information that you reported to them. Did you do your return by hand, ie not using software? If so, you may have done something like used 7.5% of AGI for the medical expense floor instead of 10%.
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by jebmke »

Katietsu wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:26 am They had been staffing the phones so it is worth trying.

Have you tried to figure out where you may have short changed yourself on the Schedule A you filed? The IRS can only change your Schedule A using the information that you reported to them. Did you do your return by hand, ie not using software? If so, you may have done something like used 7.5% of AGI for the medical expense floor instead of 10%.
Agree; I can't think of any reason they would adjust Schedule A except for an arithmetic error. If so, one should be able to figure it out with a little digging.
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MP123
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by MP123 »

jebmke wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:30 am
Katietsu wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:26 am They had been staffing the phones so it is worth trying.

Have you tried to figure out where you may have short changed yourself on the Schedule A you filed? The IRS can only change your Schedule A using the information that you reported to them. Did you do your return by hand, ie not using software? If so, you may have done something like used 7.5% of AGI for the medical expense floor instead of 10%.
Agree; I can't think of any reason they would adjust Schedule A except for an arithmetic error. If so, one should be able to figure it out with a little digging.
What about an discrepancy with a 1098 for Mortgage Interest? That would show up on Schedule A, right?
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by jebmke »

MP123 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:38 am What about an discrepancy with a 1098 for Mortgage Interest? That would show up on Schedule A, right?
Possibly, but I don't think any matching is done until later in the year.
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neurosphere
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by neurosphere »

MP123 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:38 am
jebmke wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:30 am Agree; I can't think of any reason they would adjust Schedule A except for an arithmetic error. If so, one should be able to figure it out with a little digging.
What about an discrepancy with a 1098 for Mortgage Interest? That would show up on Schedule A, right?
Lines 8a, 12, and 15 are potential lines to look at, which require or reference other entries/forms.
If you have to ask "Is a Target Date fund right for me?", the answer is "Yes".
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Stinky
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by Stinky »

jebmke wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am
MP123 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:38 am What about an discrepancy with a 1098 for Mortgage Interest? That would show up on Schedule A, right?
Possibly, but I don't think any matching is done until later in the year.
OP said this was a 2018 return.

So IRS has probably had time to match things up.
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by jebmke »

Possible that is it. Still should be able to prove it out with docs on hand unless a corrected 1098 was issued and somehow the taxpayer missed it in the mail or tossed it thinking it was a duplicate.

My memory is fuzzy but I seem to recall one year the medical threshold was changed late in the process (January) and the early instructions had a 10% threshold which was subsequently changed to 7.5. Don't recall if it was 2018 or not. That would be the first thing I would check.
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by HueyLD »

Directly from the IRS:

“ What taxpayers should do if they get a letter or notice from the IRS

Every year the IRS mails letters or notices to taxpayers for many different reasons.

Here are some do’s and don’ts for taxpayers who receive one:

Don’t ignore it. Most IRS letters and notices are about federal tax returns or tax accounts. Each notice deals with a specific issue and includes specific instructions on what to do.

Don’t panic. The IRS and its authorized private collection agencies do send letters by mail. Most of the time, all the taxpayer needs to do is read the letter carefully and take the appropriate action.

Don’t reply unless instructed to do so. There is usually no need for a taxpayer to reply to a notice unless specifically instructed to do so. On the other hand, taxpayers who owe should reply with a payment. IRS.gov has information about payment options.

Do take timely action. A notice may reference changes to a taxpayer’s account, taxes owed, a payment request or a specific issue on a tax return. Acting timely could minimize additional interest and penalty charges.

Do review the information. If a letter is about a changed or corrected tax return, the taxpayer should review the information and compare it with the original return. If the taxpayer agrees, they should make notes about the corrections on their personal copy of the tax return and keep it for their records.

Do respond to a disputed notice. If a taxpayer doesn’t agree with the IRS, they should mail a letter explaining why they dispute the notice. They should mail it to the address on the contact stub included with the notice. The taxpayer should include information and documents for the IRS to review when considering the dispute. People should allow at least 30 days for the IRS to respond.

Do remember there is usually no need to call the IRS. If a taxpayer must contact the IRS by phone, they should use the number in the upper right-hand corner of the notice. The taxpayer should have a copy of their tax return and letter when calling the agency.”
lstone19
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by lstone19 »

Years and years ago, when I filled out my tax return by hand in ink (before personal computers were ubiquitous) and then hand-wrote a copy for myself, I received an IRS notice saying I made a math error on Schedule D (back when sales went on Schedule D itself, not 8949 as it is today) and they owed me money. No explanation of what the math error was. The only way I could replicate their bottom line number was to flip the sales proceeds and basis of a sale (turning a gain into a loss). I decided if they couldn't be bothered to send me the details, I wasn't going to be bothered to follow up. I'm pretty sure what I sent them matched my copy (why would I have had it backwards on the original but then the right way on my copy) so am guessing someone reversed them when keying it in. Too long ago to worry about today.

It may be near impossible to get the details. I'd cash the check as an uncashed check just causes more problems.
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by MarkNYC »

jebmke wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am
MP123 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:38 am What about an discrepancy with a 1098 for Mortgage Interest? That would show up on Schedule A, right?
Possibly, but I don't think any matching is done until later in the year.
Highly unlikely to be a discrepancy with Form 1098 that generates a refund. For example, if the 1098 shows $22,000 interest paid and the taxpayer only claimed $20,000, the IRS will not give the taxpayer an additional $2,000 deduction. The IRS will assume someone else paid and claimed the other $2,000.

Math error seems most likely.
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8foot7
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by 8foot7 »

I would cash the check and spend not one more moment worrying about it. You did your part and they decided you were wrong. Who are you to argue?
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black jack
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by black jack »

Thanks to everyone for their insights.
8foot7 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 6:40 pm I would cash the check and spend not one more moment worrying about it. You did your part and they decided you were wrong. Who are you to argue?
Who am I to argue indeed. I imagine that if they did make a mistake, they'll figure it out and let me know.
We cannot absolutely prove [that they are wrong who say] that we have seen our best days. But so said all who came before us, and with just as much apparent reason. | -T. B. Macaulay (1800-1859)
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by grabiner »

MarkNYC wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:04 pm
jebmke wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am
MP123 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:38 am What about an discrepancy with a 1098 for Mortgage Interest? That would show up on Schedule A, right?
Possibly, but I don't think any matching is done until later in the year.
Highly unlikely to be a discrepancy with Form 1098 that generates a refund. For example, if the 1098 shows $22,000 interest paid and the taxpayer only claimed $20,000, the IRS will not give the taxpayer an additional $2,000 deduction. The IRS will assume someone else paid and claimed the other $2,000.
There are also other situations in which the interest may not be fully deductible, such as a home-equity loan which was not entirely used to improve the home, or a cash-out refinance, or a loan which was over the $750K limit.

Similarly, my Form 1098 reports more in property tax than I deduct. The credit union which managed my escrow reported the entire county bill as property tax, but it includes a fee for water service which is not a tax. The IRS never questions my reporting less in property tax than the form shows, because this is a common situation.
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by Mudpuppy »

grabiner wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:57 pm Similarly, my Form 1098 reports more in property tax than I deduct. The credit union which managed my escrow reported the entire county bill as property tax, but it includes a fee for water service which is not a tax. The IRS never questions my reporting less in property tax than the form shows, because this is a common situation.
Yep, I have the same situation. My county bills trash, sewer, and other non-deductible charges on the property tax bill and the 1098 reports the entire bill, not the deductible part of it. I always have to adjust that and report a lower value on Schedule A that reflects the actual deductible part of the bill. It's never caused a problem.
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by dodecahedron »

MarkNYC wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 4:04 pm
jebmke wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:50 am
MP123 wrote: Mon Aug 03, 2020 10:38 am What about an discrepancy with a 1098 for Mortgage Interest? That would show up on Schedule A, right?
Possibly, but I don't think any matching is done until later in the year.
Highly unlikely to be a discrepancy with Form 1098 that generates a refund. For example, if the 1098 shows $22,000 interest paid and the taxpayer only claimed $20,000, the IRS will not give the taxpayer an additional $2,000 deduction. The IRS will assume someone else paid and claimed the other $2,000.

Math error seems most likely.
Totally agree with MarkNYC. A CP-12 notice is actually a type of a so-called Math Error notice and the recently retired National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson has complained for years about how unclear and confusing such notices are to taxpayers.

Shortly before Nina retired last summer, she wrote:
National Taxpayer Advocate Nina Olson wrote:When Congress expanded the IRS’s math error authority to include certain “clerical errors,” such as leaving a box on a tax return blank, it instructed the IRS that “the taxpayer must be given an explanation of the asserted error.” Yet, despite this, math error notices do not always include adequate explanations to the taxpayer about what error he or she made on a tax return. Math error notices are coded by the IRS depending on the type of error. These codes, Taxpayer Notice Codes (TPNCs), come with short proforma explanations of the errors. Multiple errors on a return result in multiple TPNCs on the notice.

Some TPNCs give enough information for taxpayers to generally understand why they are receiving the notice. For example, notices sent to taxpayers who made a math error regarding their taxable Social Security benefits (the second most common math error in tax years (TYs) 2015-2017) would include this explanation:

“We changed the amount of taxable social security benefits on page 1 of your tax return because there was an error in the computation of the taxable amount.”

This is fairly straightforward and directs taxpayers to the error they potentially made, including the page number on their tax return. Let’s compare this explanation with TPNC 558, the most common math error in TYs 2016 and 2017, and the third most common math error in TY 2015:

“We changed the refund amount or the amount you owe on your tax return based on the information you provided in response to our previous correspondence.”

Imagine opening a notice from the IRS, trying to figure out why you received the notice, and reading this explanation. What is the error the IRS is claiming you made? If you have had multiple contacts with the IRS, what previous correspondence or information is the IRS referring to? What, if anything, are you supposed to do? This doesn’t fulfill Congress’s intent for providing an explanation of the math error to taxpayers. Congress provided examples about how to write adequate explanations. To be consistent with the examples in the legislative history, the IRS should cite the specific issues and correspondence it is referring to, along with the line numbers and description of what was adjusted, and the amount of increase or decrease in taxable income and tax due.
Source: Although the IRS Has Made Some Improvements, Math Error Notices Continue to Be Unclear and Confusing, Thereby Undermining Taxpayer Rights and Increasing Taxpayer Burden from the NTA Blog at TaxpayerAdvocate.irs.gov

The term Math Error as used by the IRS is something of a misnomer. It could be either an arithmetic error or a clerical error, such as using the wrong column in the tax tables to compute your tax liability. Miscalculating the amount of taxable Social Security is one of the most common math errors the IRS encounters, as you can well imagine, given that a substantial number of seniors still prepare their returns by hand instead of using software. Other common ones including claiming an incorrect tax benefit for a dependent who is disqualified based on their age (example, claiming Child Tax Credit of $2,000 for a child who turned 17 during the tax year.)

Math Error notices can be favorable (as in the OP´s case) or unfavorable to the taxpayer. Unfavorable Math Error notices, demanding that the taxpayer pay additional amounts to the IRS, are often mistakenly believed to be audits, but they are technically not audits and carry fewer due process safeguards than audits. From the IRS point of view, the Math Error process is a more ¨streamlined authority¨ to expeditiously deal with mistakes it believes the taxpayer has made. Over the years, Congress has granted the IRS more and more authority to treat various issues as Math Errors.

How to prevent Math Errors? Use of tax software, of course, is a big one. Double-checking transcription of data is also important. Incorrectly entered years of birth are surprisingly common. If you mistakenly entered a birth date for a dependent incorrectly, the IRS has access to SS records with the correct date of birth. If you mistakenly transcribed the wrong number from your W-2s and 1099 income documents, the IRS will catch that. As noted above, the IRS is not going to issue Math Error notices to catch 1098 mistakes, since those figures typically relate to deductions and credits, which have many gotcha provisions so there can be many legitimate reasons for not claiming the full amount reported on the 1098. But if a deduction is subject to an AGI limitation, I would definite scrutinize whether that calculation was handled properly. There have been multiple back and forth tax law changes in recent years about whether the 7.5% of AGI or 10% of AGI limit applied to medical deductions, so if your software was not updated properly, it might have gotten that figure wrong.

Surprisingly Math Error notices favorable to the taxpayer are twice as common as unfavorable ones. As you can imagine, however, unfavorable notices cause far more distress and, unfortunately, there are way too many taxpayers in distress at the moment. Also noteworthy that while unfavorable notices are less common the balance due amounts in question are often in the thousands of dollars. By contrast, favorable notices tend to be in the hundreds of dollars.

So the stakes are much higher for unfavorable notices and many low income taxpayers get them.

I completely understand the OP´s curiosity, but given the huge backlogs of taxpayers in hardship facing unfavorable notices and the staffing shortage at the IRS, I applaud the OP´s decision above to leave well enough alone for now and not pursue the issue with the IRS at this time. If I were the OP, I would be very curious. I would definitely pull out my copy of the tax return and start double-checking for transcription errors. I would subtract the IRS calculation of taxable income from the figure I computed on my return and see if the amount of discrepancy reveals any clues.

Although Nina is retired now, I know she plans to continue pursuing advocacy to help our tax system operate in a more understandable manner in the future.
Asyouwish
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by Asyouwish »

You can see the changes on the return transcript. Create an account on the IRS website. Retrieve your “tax return transcript”. It will show Per Return figures and Per Computer figures. It should be clear where they made the changes because the per return and per computer will be different.

The other choice is to call the IRS and speak to a customer service representative and ask them to explain the math error codes on your account. They too can see the transcript and see where the return was changed.
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by fareastwarriors »

Hi, I submitted an amended return back in May 20 with USPS tracking shown as received. However, when I log into the IRS transcript site, it still shows old data. Should I call now or wait longer?
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by Mudpuppy »

fareastwarriors wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:47 pm Hi, I submitted an amended return back in May 20 with USPS tracking shown as received. However, when I log into the IRS transcript site, it still shows old data. Should I call now or wait longer?
Did you check at the IRS's "where my amended return" website specifically? https://www.irs.gov/filing/wheres-my-amended-return
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by fareastwarriors »

Mudpuppy wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:49 pm
fareastwarriors wrote: Tue Aug 18, 2020 6:47 pm Hi, I submitted an amended return back in May 20 with USPS tracking shown as received. However, when I log into the IRS transcript site, it still shows old data. Should I call now or wait longer?
Did you check at the IRS's "where my amended return" website specifically? https://www.irs.gov/filing/wheres-my-amended-return
Thanks, I didn't know about the site.

I just checked but no update. :(


Your amended return information is currently unavailable in this application. It takes up to 3 weeks for an amended return to show on your account. You can generally expect your amended return to be processed within 16 weeks from the date we receive it. Check the date you filed your amended return and try again later.
fareastwarriors
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Re: IRS amended my return

Post by fareastwarriors »

Should I resend my Amended return if there's no update on the Amended Return Status site and no update on Transcript site?

Will resending cause more complications?
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by michaeljc70 »

Asyouwish wrote: Tue Aug 04, 2020 6:30 am You can see the changes on the return transcript. Create an account on the IRS website. Retrieve your “tax return transcript”. It will show Per Return figures and Per Computer figures. It should be clear where they made the changes because the per return and per computer will be different.

The other choice is to call the IRS and speak to a customer service representative and ask them to explain the math error codes on your account. They too can see the transcript and see where the return was changed.
+1. Get a transcript. You can get actual copies of the return, but I believe they will charge you $50 and it will take longer.

As others said, they will not increase your deduction because a 1098 was higher than what you reported.
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Re: IRS amended my return

Post by Katietsu »

fareastwarriors wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:09 pm Should I resend my Amended return if there's no update on the Amended Return Status site and no update on Transcript site?

Will resending cause more complications?
No, do not resend. It will not help and could cause more complications. The IRS did not process any returns received from March 13 onward for months. The processing centers started back up between mid June and mid July. Based on anecdotal information, I think the Kansas City location may be processing some March amended returns right now. Bottom line, your situation is normal. The IRS is working through millions of returns that piled up in trailers in the parking lot. Hopefully, they will get to you within the next couple months.
Last edited by Katietsu on Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: IRS amended my return

Post by Mudpuppy »

fareastwarriors wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:09 pm Should I resend my Amended return if there's no update on the Amended Return Status site and no update on Transcript site?

Will resending cause more complications?
It could cause more complications. Look up the deadline for your reason to file an amended return. If you have time, just wait. If you don't have time, call them to ask their processing timelines

For example, for the reason I needed to file an amended return (swapped two digits on one W2 line), I had one year from the original filing deadline to amend without penalty, so I'm just waiting out the process. It looks like they just cashed the check for the extra I owe last week, so it's working its way through the system, slowly but surely.
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Re: IRS amended my return

Post by fareastwarriors »

Katietsu wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:33 pm
fareastwarriors wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:09 pm Should I resend my Amended return if there's no update on the Amended Return Status site and no update on Transcript site?

Will resending cause more complications?
No, do not resend. It will not help and could cause more complications. The IRS did not process any returns received from March 13 onward for months. The processing centers started back up between mid June and mid July. Based on anecdotal information, I think the Kansas City location may be processing some March amended returns right now. Bottom line, your situation is normal. The IRS is working through millions of returns that piled up in trailers in the parking lot. Hopefully, they will get to you within the next couple months.
Thank you for the insight. I sent in my amended return back on May 20. I'll wait.
fareastwarriors
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Re: IRS amended my return

Post by fareastwarriors »

Mudpuppy wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 10:34 pm
fareastwarriors wrote: Wed Aug 26, 2020 5:09 pm Should I resend my Amended return if there's no update on the Amended Return Status site and no update on Transcript site?

Will resending cause more complications?
It could cause more complications. Look up the deadline for your reason to file an amended return. If you have time, just wait. If you don't have time, call them to ask their processing timelines

For example, for the reason I needed to file an amended return (swapped two digits on one W2 line), I had one year from the original filing deadline to amend without penalty, so I'm just waiting out the process. It looks like they just cashed the check for the extra I owe last week, so it's working its way through the system, slowly but surely.
Where do I look up the deadline for reason?
My original return did not include a large 1099. :oops:

When I sent in my amended return on May 20, I electronically paid the extra taxes owed.
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Re: IRS amended my return - how do I get a copy?

Post by milktoast »

Cash the check, keep to proceeds somewhere safe, add an extra chunk of money into that somewhere safe to pay penalties and interest when they change their mind. At least that's been my experience. No amount of phone calls or letters will divert you from this fate.
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Re: IRS amended my return

Post by Mudpuppy »

fareastwarriors wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:51 am Where do I look up the deadline for reason?
My original return did not include a large 1099. :oops:

When I sent in my amended return on May 20, I electronically paid the extra taxes owed.
If it was an amendment for the current return, then you should be fine. You paid before July 15th.
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Re: IRS amended my return

Post by fareastwarriors »

Mudpuppy wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 5:08 pm
fareastwarriors wrote: Thu Aug 27, 2020 10:51 am Where do I look up the deadline for reason?
My original return did not include a large 1099. :oops:

When I sent in my amended return on May 20, I electronically paid the extra taxes owed.
If it was an amendment for the current return, then you should be fine. You paid before July 15th.
Ok, got it. Thank you.

Yes, the amended return was for 2019.
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