Accidentally amended my taxes on H&R Block... did they actually send it?
March 18, 2019 5:18 PM   Subscribe

To keep it short and sufficient, I filed in February, then learned I possibly could have to amend. Filled out experimental amounts to see what my new liability could be, now it seems the amended return(s) were sent, confusingly on H&R's website.

To keep it short and sufficient, I filed my taxes with H&R Block (free edition) online on their website. Today, I found out I might have to amend my taxes. So, I went online on H&R Block's website (my account) and clicked "Amend my tax return", put in the experimental amount a few times, just to see what my new total (amended) would be, then left. In no way did I officially "file" it. Returning to the website, it seems my return now shows as the amendment form, 1040X, (not my original return, which was a 1040).

I called H&R Block's technical support, and got someone who said that they don't e-file amendment returns, and that the return online on my account reflects the amended changes, but that they didn't actually send the amended version to the IRS/my state (DC); it just shows that way on my H&R account. They said I'd need to print and mail it in. Looking at the IRS's website, this information was seemingly confirmed (not accepting e-filed amendments).

However, I'm nervous, because my original return on the H&R Block website does show as the 1040X amended version now, and my state now says "ready to file" although I had already e-filed with DC. Also, when trying to download my original return, it shows it as the 1040X. I didn't get any emails or anything that they actually amended my return, though, and I've gotten emails through the whole process when filing in February. I never gave explicit permission to finalize the amendment. In other words, the whole situation is confusing me. Also, I'm not sure if the customer support person was correct or not, might have been outsourced overseas (not sure, but you never know).

Has anyone here had a similar experience and would be able to share their own experience? Is this just how their website interface works - once amending a return, it shows all returns as the 1040X/amended version, even though the amendment was not actually sent off? I'm worried because I amended a few times, and don't want the IRS to be confused with multiple amended returns. As of right now, my situation hasn't changed. I was just experimenting, that's all. I tried looking online (google) for guidance, but didn't really get a clear answer.

If they DID send the amendment(s) off (without my explicit permission), what recourse do I have? As I'm in DC, I could go to the IRS office physically and explain the situation, but I don't want to deal with this hassle, when I never actually intended to amend in the first place -- just was experimenting in case.

Thanks. And, YANML.
posted by dubious_dude to Law & Government (5 answers total)
My understanding, based only on having to amend my taxes once, is that the IRS doesn’t accept electronic amendments at all. This IRS page here seems to agree. The website is probably showing that as the downloadable return so you could print and mail it.

Sounds like their website is very confusing but you are in the clear!
posted by itsamermaid at 6:59 PM on March 18, 2019 [2 favorites]

You have had it confirmed through 2 different channels that they weren't submitted (and as a side note, overseas customer service people can be - and almost always are - actually very competent, stereotypes notwithstanding). There is a bad UI in play here, but no conflicting information and no reason to worry. This is anxiety talking, it's not the result of a real problem.
posted by brainmouse at 7:03 PM on March 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Thanks. Indeed, it is a very bad UI. There was no confirmation, no "hey, we're amending your taxes, are you sure this is what you want?", and no way to undo the process as well. It seems like once you begin an amendment, it will "stick" to your original return, when you click "View my taxes" to download your return. Incidentally, I was able to still download my original return by clicking another "download your original return" link below the summary page. Funnily enough, in another area of the website, when you begin the amendment process, it asks you to download your original return. When doing so, it download the new/amended version. /headpalm what a mess!

I did closely examine the "1040X" filing instructions, which I overlooked earlier, in the summary area. It had clear instructions on how to file, by mailing, gave suggestions on what type of mail to use, etc. I also was able to pull their "Help" site up, and it very explicitly says, when searching for "amend", that:

Once you prepare your amended return, you must print and mail Form 1040X, even if you e-filed your original return.

So, it really does look like, based on that, I have nothing to worry about, and that they didn't send the forms on my behalf. The UI itself caught me by surprise, and really did make it seem like they had filed again, so that was very confusing with a deceiving UI. Hopefully this update will help any others who experiences similarly.
posted by dubious_dude at 7:11 PM on March 18, 2019

If you're very, very worried, you could request a transcript from the IRS of what they have on file for you. It's costs a fee, but it's an option. The one time I've had to amend in TurboTax, it did indeed require a physical printed copy be produced, signed, and mailed in.
posted by msbutah at 7:19 PM on March 18, 2019 [1 favorite]

Imagine you write a Word doc. You write an email to a friend and attach the Word doc. Now, you edit the Word doc and save it. You don’t email the edited doc to your friend.

When you look at the file, it’s the edited one. That doesn’t mean it was emailed, just that you edited it. If you want to see the original, it still exists as the attachment you emailed your friend.

You’re in the same situation. The only difference is that instead of manually saving like you would have had to in Word, your return continuously auto-saves.

The things you’re finding confusing and deceiving about the UI aren’t implying that your return was sent, any more than the existence of the edited Word doc would mean that you had emailed it. You’re fine.
posted by daisyace at 4:13 AM on March 19, 2019 [1 favorite]

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