How Do You File an Amended Tax Return?

Published: 10/9/2017 11:59:42 AM

How Do You File an Amended Tax Return?

Its’ easy to make mistakes when you’re doing your own tax preparation. The IRS has a special procedure for fixing them.

That sense of accomplishment you feel after you’ve filed your income taxes can turn quickly to dread if you realize later that you made a mistake. What do you do now?

The IRS knows that this will happen to some taxpayers every year. The tax code is so complex, and if you prepare your taxes manually, you’ve probably been shuffling a lot of papers around.

So, first: Don’t panic. You can fix this. The IRS offers what’s called an amended return, the Form 1040X, for just this type of situation.

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If you’ve made a mistake on your income tax return, you’ll be able to file a Form 1040X.

What IRS forms does the 1040X cover?

If your original tax return was filed using a Form 1040, 1040A 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ, you should file a Form 1040X to amend that return.

What if I realize I made a math error?

The IRS will make the necessary corrections, so you usually don’t need to file an amended return. However, you should submit one if there was an error related to your filing status, income, deductions, or credits.

I forgot to file my Schedule B. Should I file an amended return?

Usually, no. The IRS will request missing forms and schedules from you.

Can I file a Form 1040X electronically?

No. You must submit a paper return.

How much time do I have to file a Form 1040X?

You can usually file an amended return up to three years after the date on your original income tax return or within two years of actually paying the taxes – whichever date is later. Look at the above image of the Form 1040X. You must indicate the year of the return you’re amending by checking a box or entering a year after This return is for calendar year…

What if my amended return entitles me to an additional refund?

Don’t file a Form 1040X until you’ve received the first refund. Once that’s in hand, you can file the amended return and cash the check. Keep in mind that it can take up to 16 weeks for the IRS to process an amended return. It may not even appear in the system for three weeks after you’ve mailed it.

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The IRS Form 1040X uses a three-column approach to help you illustrate where errors have occurred.