Deadline for amending past year federal tax returns

What is the deadline for amending past year federal tax returns?

I overlooked some deductions in previous year tax returns and will need to amend these returns.

How many years back can I go to amend prior year tax returns?
IT GuyNetwork EngineerAsked:
Who is Participating?
 
Dr. KlahnPrincipal Software EngineerCommented:
As I read it, and I'm not a tax expert, sixteen years if you filed and the oversight was a genuine and defensible mistake.  Six for assessing and ten for collection.  After they they can't audit unless you didn't file or they suspect fraud ... but in those cases they can come after you (or your estate!) forever.

This is not legal advice.  Contact a tax expert.  We're just technical professionals, not lawyers.

"Generally, the statute of limitations for the IRS to assess taxes on a taxpayer expires three (3) years from the due date of the return or the date on which it was filed, whichever is later. A return is considered to be filed on the due date of the return if it was filed on or before its due date. An assessment occurs when an IRS officer signs a certificate of assessment stating the amount owed by the taxpayer. Additionally, the IRS statute of limitations gets extended for an even longer time when there is a substantial omission (more than 25 percent) of gross income on the return. In these circumstances, the time limit for the IRS to make its assessment gets stretched out to six (6) years from the date the return is filed or deemed filed, whichever is later.

The IRS statute of limitations period for collection of taxes -- the IRS filing suit against the taxpayer to collect previously assessed taxes -- is generally ten (10) years. Thus, once an assessment occurs, the IRS has 10 years to pursue legal action and collect on tax debt using the considerable resources at its disposal, which include levies and wage garnishments.
"

http://tax.findlaw.com/tax-problems-audits/what-is-the-irs-statute-of-limitations-or-deadline-for-action-on-.html
0
 
Bill GoldenExecutive Managing MemberCommented:
The answer given is somewhat convoluted and misleading. So, being a CPA, maybe I can help since I have so much help in other areas on EE.

First, you have three (3) years from the date you filed your tax return to amend it OR three (3) years from the due date, whichever is later. For example:
1. Your 2017 tax return is due April 15, 2018.
2. You file your return on March 1, 2018.
3. Your return can be amended through April 15, 2021.

Second Example:
1. Your 2017 tax return is due April 15, 2018.
2. You request an Automatic Extension of Time to File which extended the due date to October 15, 2018.
3. You file your return on August 1, 2018.
3. Your return can be amended through October 15, 2021.

Third example:
1. Your 2017 tax return is due April 15, 2018.
2. You request an Automatic Extension of Time to File which extended the due date to October 15, 2018.
3. You file your return on December 31, 2018.
3. Your return can be amended through December 31, 2021.

Remember - all these variations in dates extends the time the IRS can audit your return as well. Although the Service rarely audits a tax return more than two years after the due date. They can and do request an extension of time of the statute of limitations if the audit is just starting or ongoing and Statute of Limitations will run out in less than one (1) year. By mutual agreement, the Statute of Limitations can be extended in one (1) year increments. This extends the time for you to amend your return as well.    

WARNING: If you do not file a tax return and the IRS creates a return for you (often called a composite return) you only have two years from the date the IRS created the composite return to amend and correct the return.

I often get these questions from someone who owes the IRS and confuses amending with collection. Filing and Amending have little to do with Collection. The IRS is a giant organization divided into two groups: Audit and Collection. They actually have little to do with each other. In the examples above, the IRS has three (3) years to audit the and assess any additional taxes. Under certain fraud statutes, that limitation can be stretched to six (6) years if you omitted more than 25% of your income. Finally, once any additional tax is assessed, they can file a lien which is good for ten (10) years. Under certain circumstances, they can extend the lien by re-filing, but very, very rarely ever do.
0
Question has a verified solution.

Are you are experiencing a similar issue? Get a personalized answer when you ask a related question.

Have a better answer? Share it in a comment.

All Courses

From novice to tech pro — start learning today.