On March 10th, I completed our taxes and tried eFiling our return. Our federal return (married, filing jointly) was rejected (and subsequently the State was also rejected) because my dependent daughter filed her taxes a few weeks earlier and mistakenly claimed herself as a dependent. More specifically, Turbotax reported, "This return has been rejected by the IRS because you claimed a dependent as an exemption on your tax return, but this dependent has also filed their own tax return claiming a personal exemption." The instructions said that the return wouldn't be accepted unless my daughter amended her return to show she did not claim herself as a dependent. Or, I could edit my return and not claim her as a dependent. Since she was a student and lived with us for most of 2017 (pays no rent, etc.), we still want to claim her as a dependent. The instructions also said I could just mail my return and the IRS would discover we both claimed her as dependent and they would contact us to sort it out. We thought that option would be too much of a hassle.
After discovering this mistake, my daughter generated an amended return and along with a check for $4 (the difference it made with her refund amount) sent it by USPS certified mail (you cannot eFile an amended return) on March 12th to the IRS office in Fresno, CA, specifically for amended returns. Tracking reported her amended return was finally delivered March 21st. Her $4 check was listed as being withdrawn from her online checking acct balance on March 23rd, so clearly, the IRS processed the check.
However, when you use the IRS website to check the status of her amended return, it returns, "We have no record of an amended return. An amended return appears in our system approximately three weeks after we receive it." I thought since the check has been cashed it would mean they've processed her amended return, so I tried eFiling again and it was also rejected. I suppose we just need to be more patient.
BTW, the second time we tried eFiling, the Turbotax instructions seemed different. It no longer advises me to have my dependent send an amended return. It says I can either delete her as a dependent and try eFiling again, or if I still want to claim her as a dependent on my return, I must print and file by mail.
Should I stop waiting for her amended return to be accepted before eFiling again and just print and mail our return?
At this point, the only option you have is to print and mail your return. The IRS will not accept another e-filed return with your dependent's social since she originally filed as not being a dependent of anyone else. Even though she has already sent the amended return, you still won't be able to e-file yours.
So if you plan to add her as a dependent, add her to your return and mail it. Once they process your return and her amended return, they will sort it all out. Amended returns can take up to 16 weeks to be processed. And your mailed return may take a while as well. You can start tracking yours 3 weeks after mailing it.
Whenever you mail a return, it always takes longer to process because it's added to a stack for an actual person to review/process. E-filed ones go through a computer system for processing, which is much quicker most times unless they are flagged for an error.
I mailed in my State and Federal returns on March 30, 2018. I used USPS tracking and have verified that they were delivered on 4/2/18. I realize it can take up to 16 weeks for the amended return, which the IRS site shows was received on 3/22/18. Will Turbotax report the status of my returns or is that only possible with eFiled returns?
TurboTax won't be updated as they won't receive notifications of your status like with regular e-filed returns.
However, the IRS does have a tracking tool available to check the status of your amended return - you must wait at least 3 weeks after mailing before it will likely begin to show in the system.
I've used this tool to learn the status of my filed returns and am happy to report that my return has been accepted and the refund is scheduled for deposit.
There's another tool to track the status of amended returns which we are using for my daughter. It still reports that her amended return is still being processed.