TurboTax / Tax Calculators & Tips / All Tax Guides / Taxes 101 / Video: Does Amending Your Filing Status Trigger a Tax Audit?

Video: Does Amending Your Filing Status Trigger a Tax Audit?

Updated for Tax Year 2015


OVERVIEW

Do you need to correct the filing status on a past return? Are you concerned that if you file an amended return that it will trigger an IRS audit? Watch this video to find out if amending your filing status will trigger an IRS audit.


Hello, I’m Scott from TurboTax with some information about changing your filing status on an amended return. Do you need to correct the filing status on a past return? Are you concerned that if you file an amended return that it will trigger an IRS audit? If so—don’t be.

Amending a return is not unusual and it doesn’t raise any red flags with the IRS. In fact, the IRS doesn’t want you to overpay or underpay your taxes because of mistakes you make on the original return you file. So regardless of whether you selected a filing status you later realized you were ineligible for, or realize you could have reduced your tax bill even more by choosing one filing status over another—fear of an IRS audit shouldn’t stop you from filing an amended return.

Understanding a little bit about how the IRS chooses tax returns for audit may provide you with a little more comfort. Whenever someone files an original or amended tax return, the same audit selection process prevails. The IRS first uses a computer program to compare the information on your return to a random sample of returns from similar taxpayers. If the program picks up on something out of the ordinary—your return is flagged. But this doesn’t mean you will be audited just yet. An auditor from the IRS will personally review your return to determine whether there are reasonable explanations for the items you reported on your return. If the auditor is satisfied, they will not pursue an audit. But if the auditor recommends your return for audit, they will forward it to a different audit group.

Even at this point, the manager of the audit group who receives your return will review it one last time to insure that it’s worthy of an audit. Only when this manager determines your return should be audited, will you be hearing from an IRS representative. In the event you are chosen for a tax audit, remember that it’s merely a review of your return. As long as you accurately report your income, deductions, filing status or only make mistakes that are inadvertent, you have nothing to worry about.

If you are only changing your filing status, one way to minimize your chances of an audit is to provide a thorough explanation on your 1040X as to why you are choosing a different one. If you are eligible to use it, and could have reported it on your original return, an auditor will not make you change it again.

Remember, when you use TurboTax to file your tax return, we’ll automatically check it for errors, and we guarantee our calculations are 100% accurate. You’ll also get our Audit Support Guarantee, which includes free one-on-one audit guidance from an experienced tax professional, by phone or live chat. For more information about this and other tax topics, visit TurboTax.com.

Get every deduction you deserve

TurboTax Deluxe searches more than 350 tax deductions and credits so you get your maximum refund, guaranteed.

For only $54.99$34.99*
Start for Free

The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.


Security is built into everything we do
Here's how
* Important Offer Details and Disclosures
  • Try for Free/Pay When You File: TurboTax online and mobile pricing is based on your tax situation and varies by product. Free 1040EZ/A + Free State offer only available with TurboTax Federal Free Edition; Offer may change or end at any time without notice. Actual prices are determined at the time of print or efile and are subject to change without notice. Savings and price comparisons based on anticipated price increase expected 3/18/16. Special discount offers may not be valid for mobile in-app purchases.
  • TurboTax CD/Download products: Price includes tax preparation and printing of federal tax returns and free federal efile of up to 5 federal tax returns. Additional fees apply for efiling state returns. E-file fees do not apply to New York state returns. Savings and price comparison based on anticipated price increase expected 3/18/16. Prices subject to change without notice.
  • Anytime, anywhere: Internet access required; standard message and data rates apply to download and use mobile app.
  • Fastest refund possible: Fastest tax refund with efile and direct deposit; tax refund timeframes will vary.
  • Pay for TurboTax out of your federal refund: A $X.XX Refund Processing Service fee applies to this payment method. Prices are subject to change without notice.
  • About our TurboTax Product Experts: Customer service and product support vary by time of year.
  • About our credentialed tax experts: Live tax advice service is available via phone for your toughest tax questions; fees may apply. Service, experience levels, hours of operation and availability vary, and are subject to restriction and change without notice. Not available for TurboTax Business customers.
  • #1 best-selling tax software: Based on aggregated sales data for all tax year 2014 TurboTax products.
  • Most Popular: TurboTax Deluxe is our most popular product among TurboTax Online users with more complex tax situations.
  • Benefit Assist: After you file, TurboTax automatically shows you a full list of government benefits you may qualify for, like Food Stamps or reduced phone & utilities. Plus, we help you apply, saving you time and making it easier than ever to get more money! Estimate based on calculation of Benefit Assist users from tax year 2013 and published reports of average benefit and savings amounts from federal and state programs. Benefit Assist users who received one or more federal or state benefits received on average $576 (based on survey March-June 2015). Actual amounts and qualifications based on your individual situation; some individuals will not qualify. Feature may not be available for all customers.