Filing a tax return isn't the last step in compiling your annual earning statement. There's always room for review and revision if something else should crop up in the future or your situation should otherwise change, and preemptively filing a revised return can help avoid costly audits or earn you a nice rebate check for your trouble.
Accurate personal and business accounting is important for everything from online banking to financial planning, but it's not always possible when W2's and other forms come in late. Avoiding a problem is easy and revising taxes worthwhile if you do it correctly.
File an extension
If you know you're waiting on an earnings statement from your portfolio manager or you need to get a revised 1099 from a contract job, send in an extension to file to both the state and federal tax bodies to which you're responsible. Remember, though, this is only an extension on the filing itself, not an extension on payment – you must remit full payment of the estimated amount owed, or you may be hit with a late-filing penalty later.
Hire a preparer
Paperwork may be filed timely in some instances, but events may occur after the fact that prompt a review. An amendment can be filed at any time, though in some states any additional refund may not be valid if a certain number of years has passed since the original due date of the return. This will simply save you from audits in the future, a good strategy for those looking to keep a healthy financial plan in place.
Check your work
You may come across paperwork that indicates your math might have been wrong. You may have to change your filing status, address, earning credits and taxable deductions. Failing to properly claim things on a return can affect the amount owed or due, as the IRS states on its website, which could prompt additional audits. Also, if additional forms require edits or additions, be sure to sended amended copies of them as well.
Remember that an amendment cannot be filed electronically. If you filed your taxes online initially, you will have to fill out a physical copy and mail it in, along with all necessary attachments.