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My boys were all born in the middle of December and my wife…

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My boys were all born...
My boys were all born in the middle of December and my wife and I got married in November. I filed Single on both of us since we were most of the year and she claimed the kids since we never changed our W4. Well I found out later that I was actually suppose to claim Married filed JOINTLY or SEPARATE after a friend was helping me filing out my FAFSA (got an earful about that from her).
After 3 years on the wait list I finally get called to start class. The FAFSA asked what month and year I got married and I am also to provide proof of my signed income tax return which those ones say single. The FAFSA and the return will contradict eachother. What do I do? Am I going to jail? I only have 5 weeks before school starts and they need that before then.
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Tax
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Answered in 11 minutes by:
6/29/2010
Tax Professional: jgordosea, Enrolled Agent replied 8 years ago
jgordosea
jgordosea, Enrolled Agent
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3,161
Experience: I've prepared all types of taxes since 1987.
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Greetings,

 

No, you will not go to jail for making a mistake. Jail time usually requires that you knew you were fling false information.

 

You should file amended returns to use the correct filing status. Married filing joint will likely be the best; but you can not be sure unless you do it both ways. You may need to pay in if your wife used head of household or claimed Earned Income Credit that only was available when she used the wrong status.

 

You should provide both the original incorrect and the amended return(s) to the school so there is no conflict.

 

Most software will prepare the amended return if you did it with software. The printable form to amend can be found at Form 1040X (Rev. January 2010)

 

Please ask if you need clarification.

Thank you.

 

 

 

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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Yeah hers did claim EIC. What I figure from recalculating it online I will have to pay back in about $8,000. Don't know where I am going to get that since we used it on a down payment for a house.

Another problem is the school needs the paperwork by the start of school since they need payment before I start class (less than 5 weeks) and I just read the 1040x takes 8-12 weeks.
Tax Professional: jgordosea, Enrolled Agent replied 8 years ago

Hello again,

 

It does not matter that the 1040X will take 8-12 weeks to process.

You can get it prepared, signed and sent in much less than 5 weeks.

The school does not need to know the processing is complete; but that you filed so they can see the correct income amounts for the correct filing status.

 

You will be much better off to prepare and send in the amended returns on your own before the IRS discovers the error than you will be if you get examined by them and they find the error.

When you come forward it may even be possible to get penalties waived if they are proposed which will not be likely possible if you are examined.

 

Do not let the fact that you currently do not have the money to full pay what you may owe on the correction stop you from making the correction. After you file the amended return and send what you can an installment payment agreement or other arrangement can be made to pay what you owe from correcting the return.

 

I hope this helps to clarify the best course is for you to amend to file correctly and to agree with the fact that you were married.

 

Thank you.

 

 

 

 

 

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