Ask the taxgirl: I forgot to file Schedule M!

Taxpayer asks:

I was not aware of the above credit. I am single, and just yesterday filed form 1040 EZ my self. I did not file schedule M to claim that credit. Can I file an amended return to claim this credit.

Taxgirl says:

This is a great question. I actually called up the IRS on this one because I have received quite a number of calls and emails about the same thing.

Here’s the scoop: normally, if you file a form 1040 or 1040A, you need to file a Schedule M in order to claim the Making Work Pay Credit (more on Schedule M here). If you file a form 1040-EZ, you will just complete the worksheet on the back of the form (downloads as a pdf).

But what if you forget? If you e-file, the return tends to “kick out” if you don’t claim the credit; in that case, you can just fix your error and resubmit the return. But if you file by paper – or if the e-file doesn’t catch it for some wacky reason – there’s no immediate flag. There’s also no need to panic: the IRS does not expect you to complete an amended return. The rumor is that the IRS may fix it for you… But if they don’t, the official word is that they’re expecting a workaround in the form of a notice. Most likely, you’ll receive a notice about the error and be allowed to correct it at that time. But I have been advised that you should not immediately file an amended return – if yours is pulled for processing and you submit an amended return, you’ll just confuse matters.

Like any good lawyer, I need to add a disclaimer: Unfortunately, it is impossible to give comprehensive tax advice over the internet, no matter how well researched or written. Before relying on any information given on this site, contact a tax professional to discuss your particular situation.

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