This article was last edited on Feb. 16, 2016. For updated information on amended returns, visit Do I Need to File an Amended Return?
If you discover an error after you file your tax return, you can correct the error by amending your return. Amended returns, filed on Form 1040X, are used to make corrections to a previously submitted and accepted tax return. An amended return can be done for any tax year. However if a refund is being claimed, the return must be filed within three years after the date the original return was filed. While most filing statuses can be changed with an amended return, changing from Married Filing Joint to Married Filing Separate cannot be done after the original due date. The IRS released tips to amending your federal tax return, below we have summarized the major points:
When To Amend A Return
Generally, you should file an amended return if your filing status, number of dependents, total income, tax deductions or tax credits were reported incorrectly or omitted. The service center may correct errors in math on a return and may accept returns with certain forms or schedules left out. In these instances, do not amend your return.
When To File An Amended Return
Mostly if a change to a taxpayer’s return requires the IRS to give them a refund, the changes must be made within 3 years of the original return’s due date, or 2 years from the date the return was paid, whichever occurs later. If the taxpayer owes money to the IRS, the tax return can be amended for any year.
- If you are amending your tax return to get an additional refund, make sure to wait until you have received your original refund before filing the amended return.
- If you owe additional taxes, it is important to file your amended return as soon as possible to limit any interest or penalty charges that may incur.
Form To Use To File Amended Return
Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, is used to amend a previously filed Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ. Check the box for the year of the return you are amending on the Form 1040X. An amended tax return cannot be filed electronically and must be mailed to your local Internal Revenue Service Center.
- Form 1040X has 3 columns. Column A shows original figures from the original return. Column B shows the changes you are making. Column C shows the corrected figures. There is an area on the back of the form to explain the specific changes and the reasons for the changes.
- If the changes to the amended return required other forms or schedules, attach them to the Form 1040x. Failure to attach these forms can cause a delay in the progressing of your return.
Multiple Amended Returns
If you are amending more than one year’s tax return, prepare a separate 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes.
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