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23 Hous. L. Rev. 769 (1986)
An Analysis of the Status of Amended Tax Returns and the Effects of Their Use

handle is hein.journals/hulr23 and id is 785 raw text is: COMMENTS
AN ANALYSIS OF THE STATUS OF
AMENDED TAX RETURNS AND THE
EFFECTS OF THEIR USE
Over 170 million tax returns were filed in the last fiscal year.1
Considering the complex state of federal tax law, the differences in
opinion as to its application and the human propensity for error,
mistakes are inevitable. Many of these mistakes may only be dis-
covered by the taxpayer after the original return has been filed2
To correct these errors amended returns are often filed.3 Since the
Internal Revenue Service provides forms for this purpose, taxpay-
ers often take for granted that they have the right to use them to
make any desired changes to their original return However, not
all errors can be corrected in this manner.5 Many errors must be
corrected by adjusting the tax return of a later year rather than
filing an amended tax return for the year in which the error was
made. As a result, the taxpayer may be required to pay more or
less tax than he would have had to pay had the error been cor-
rected in the original period.7 Even once it is determined that an
amended return is valid under the circumstances, its procedural
1. 1984 Ann. Rep. of the Comm'r & Chief Counsel Internal Revenue Service, p. 8.
2. This accounts for the large numbers of forms 1040X and 1120X filed. See id. at p. 9
(supplemental documents). Form 1040X is the amended individual income tax return. Form
1120X is the amended corporate income tax return.
3. These can be forms specifically prepared for this purpose like forms 1040X or
1120X or can be the regular forms for the year labeled as amended returns. Treas. Reg. §
301.6402-3(a) (1984).
4. See, e.g., Goldstone v. Comm'r, 65 T. C. 113, 115 (1975).
5. Refer to notes 25-31 infra and accompanying text.
6. Refer to notes 57-71 infra and accompanying text
7. Refer to notes 60-67 & 70-72 infra and accompanying text. Note that some errors
may not be correctable at all unless equitable doctrines such as the tax benefit rule or the
equitable recoupment doctrine apply. See Hillsboro Nat'l Bank v. Commisioner, 460 U.S.
370 (1983) (tax benefit rule); Estate of Mann v. United States, 731 F.2d 267 (5th Cir. 1984)
(equitable recoupment doctrine).

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