According to the IRS website, tax filers have 3 years from the day they submited their Federal return to file an amended Federal return, or two years from the day the tax was paid–whichever is later. The same rules apply to filing an amended Maryland tax return, according to the Maryland Comptroller website (http://www.comp.state.md.us/onlineservices/default.asp). (These deadlines may change, so be sure to check the appropriate Federal or state website for the latest information.)
The state of Maryland has a great online site that allows tax filers to submit their Maryland tax return free of charge. You just pull up an online tax form and plug in the information from your completed Federal form, click SUBMIT, and voila, your state tax return has been filed. In general, the Maryland online tax filing has been very easy to use; but I did have a problem when I tried to amend my 2008 Maryland taxes earlier this week.
I discovered that, in 2008, I had mistakenly taken the standard deduction for Maryland when I had actually itemized my deductions that year. The oversight occurred because Maryland’s online form pre-fills certain information in your form as you go along–the deduction amount being one of them–and you have to make sure everything is accurate. Well, I missed that one–only because when I filed last year, I had failed to click the “help” button that gave instructions on how to itemize, so assumed they would only allow a standard deduction when filing online for 2008.
I wanted to fix the problem, and according to the Maryland Comptroller’s website, anyone can submit an electronic amended return if they filed that year’s taxes electronically. Unfortunately, when I followed the procedures, their system was unable to handle the situation. So it looks like I’ll have to file the mail-in version of the form, after all–or make a visit to the local Maryland tax office.
I suppose the moral here is to always click all help buttons, even when you don’t think you need help.
Well, maybe not. . .but give it some thought!