When and How to File an Amended Return

Every now and then after a filing your Individual Income Tax Return, Form 1040, you may recognize a mistake that was made, or something that was accidentally left off of the return. When this happens, an amended return should be filed to correct the mistake or make the change. If you notice a mathematical error or if you forget to attach necessary documentation, these are not reasons for sending in an amended return. The IRS will either correct the mathematical error for you, or will ask you for supporting documentation to continue processing your return. However, if there is a change in your filing status, credits or deductions, or the income you reported was incorrect you will need to file an amended return via Form 1040X.

If you have recently realized that you need to amend more than one return, you will need to make sure to use a separate Form 1040X for each amended return. Generally, this form must be filed within three years of the original filing date or within two years from the date at which you paid the taxes – whichever is later. You will need to enter the tax year that is being amended at the top of each return. Then, once completed, you must send each amended return separately to the IRS at the address for your particular location, which can be found in the 1040X Instructions. Your amended returns cannot be filed electronically.

If you will be receiving a refund from your original return, and your amended return will be claiming an additional refund, you will need to wait to receive your first refund before submitting the amended return claiming the additional refund. Once the amended return is filed, it can take up to 12 weeks before it is processed. If you will owe tax on your amended return, file the return and pay the additional tax as quickly as possible to reduce any penalties and interest you may owe. Once your amended return has been filed you may track the status of your return using the “Where’s My Amended Return” tool at www.irs.gov or by calling 866-464-2050. Both the online and phone tools are available in English and Spanish.