Amended vs Superseded - What's the difference?
A superseding tax return is a return filed after the original return but before the filing deadline, including extensions. The superseding return replaces the original return.
In contrast, an amended return is a return filed after the original or superseding return's due date, including extensions, has passed.
Both an amended return and a superseding return include Form 1040-X for the purpose of indicating the changes made to the previous return, however a superseding return will be indicated by the words "SUPERSEDING RETURN" printed at the top of the first page of Form 1040.
Why file a superseding return?
While both an amended return and a superseding return are filed to correct errors in the original return, certain things can be accomplished in a superseding return that cannot be accomplished in an amended return. For example:
- Make or revoke a tax election, e.g., the election to apply the refund to the following year's tax. Note however that revoking an election can only be done by filing the superseding return before the original filing deadline, not the extended filing deadline.
- Change the filing status, e.g., from MFS to MFJ or vice-versa.
- Change the underpayment of estimated tax penalty calculation.
- Reverse a late-filing penalty for failing to file a required form with the original return, e.g., certain forms that relate to foreign disclosures, such as Forms 5471, 8865. and 8938.
- Reverse a TOP offset by satisfying the balance due.
Note that the filing date of the original return is when the three-year statutory period for assessment (section 6501) and the three-year statutory period for filing a claim for a refund (section 6511) begin, not the filing date of the superseding return. See here for more detail.
Creating a superseding individual tax return in TaxSlayer Pro
To create a superseding individual tax return in TaxSlayer Pro, first create the amended return as you normally would. (If you're uncertain how to amend a return in TaxSlayer Pro, see the knowledgebase article linked below.) Then within the Form 1040-X menu select:
- Questions & Explanation
- Return is being sent as a Superseding Return - Answer YES.
The only indication in the printed copy of the return that it is a superseding return is the phrase "SUPERSEDING RETURN" printed at the top of the first page of Form 1040. For e-file purposes the data includes an "electronic check box" indicating to the IRS that the return is being sent as a superseding return.