Facts about Amended Tax Returns

Did you discover that you made a mistake after you filed your federal tax return? You can make it right by filing an amended tax return. Here are eight things to know about filing an amended tax return.

1. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct errors on your tax return. You must file an amended return on paper. It can’t be e-filed.

2. You usually should file an amended tax return if you made an error claiming your filing status, income, deductions or credits on your original return.

3. You normally do not need to file an amended return to correct math errors. The IRS will automatically make those changes for you. Also, do not file an amended return because you forgot to attach tax forms, such as a W-2 or schedule. The IRS will usually send you a request for those.

4. You usually have three years from the date you filed your original tax return to file Form 1040X to claim a refund. You can file it within two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later.

5. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each year. You should mail each year in separate envelopes. Note the tax year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. Check the form’s instructions for where to mail your return.

6. If you use other IRS forms or schedules to make changes, make sure to attach them to your Form 1040X.

7. If you are due a refund from your original return, wait to receive that refund before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund. Amended returns take up to 12 weeks to process.

8. If you owe more tax, file your Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible. This will reduce any interest and penalties.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to IRS Regulations, we inform you that any tax advice provided or implied on this post (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

While the information contained in this post is believed to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.

Amend Your Individual Return

If you discover a mistake after filing your individual income tax return you should correct it by filing an amended return.

Keep the following tips in mind if you have to amend a return.

  • When to amend a return.  You should file an amended return if you need to correct your filing status, number of dependents, total income, tax deductions or tax credits. The instructions for Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, list additional reasons to amend a return.
  • When NOT to amend a return.  In some cases, you don’t need to amend your tax return. For example, the IRS usually corrects math errors when processing your original return. If you did not include a required form or schedule, the IRS will send you a request for whatever is missing.
  • Form to use.  Use Form 1040X to amend a previously filed Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ. Make sure you check the box to show the tax year that you are amending on the Form 1040X. You cannot e-file an amended return. You must file an amended tax return on paper.
  • Multiple amended returns.  If you’re filing an amended return for more than one year, prepare a separate 1040X for each return. Mail them in separate envelopes to the appropriate IRS processing center. (See “Where to File” in the instructions for Form 1040X.)
  • Form 1040X.  Form 1040X has three columns. Column A shows figures from the original return. Column B shows the changes you are making. Column C shows the corrected figures. There is also an area on the back of the form where you should explain the specific changes and the reasons for the changes.
  • Other forms or schedules.  If the changes involve other tax schedules or forms, attach them to the Form 1040X. Failure to do this will cause a delay in processing.
  • Amending to claim an additional refund.  If you’re expecting a refund from your original tax return, don’t file your amended return until after you have received that refund. You may cash the refund check from your original return. The IRS will send you any additional refund you are owed.
  • Amending to pay additional tax.  If you’re filing an amended tax return because you owe additional tax, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit any interest and penalty charges.
  • When to file.  To claim a refund, you generally must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original tax return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  • Processing time.  Normal processing time for amended returns is 8 to 12 weeks. The processing time may be longer due to the backlog created during the recent government shutdown.

 

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to IRS Regulations, we inform you that any tax advice provided or implied on this post (including attachments) is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer.

While the information contained in this post is believed to be reliable, we cannot guarantee its accuracy or completeness.