Fixing Mistakes on Tax Return with Form 1040X

There are several options available to taxpayers who make a mistake on a tax return that they have filed. If you discover an error after you file your tax return, this can be corrected by amending a tax return (Form 1040X).

Here are 10 tips from the Internal Revenue Service about amending your federal tax return:

  1. When amending a tax return- Generally, you must file an amended return if your filing status, number of dependents, total income, tax deductions or tax credits were reported incorrectly or omitted. Additional reasons are listed in the instructions to amend your return.
  2. When NOT to amend a declaration- In some cases, you do not need to amend your tax return. The IRS usually corrects math errors or requests missing, forms such as W-2s or schedules – when the original statement is processed. In these cases, it is best not amend your return.
  3. You must use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to amend a 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ previously submitted. Be sure to mark the box on Form 1040X for the year of the return you are amending. An amended tax return can not be filed electronically.
  4. Multiple amended returns –  If you-are amending more than one tax year, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in.
  5. The Form 1040X, Form 1040X has three columns. Column A shows original figures from the statement. Column B shows the changes that are being made. Column C shows the corrected figures. There is an area at the back of the form explaining the specific changes and the reason for the change.
  6. Other Forms or Attachments- If the changes involve other schedules or forms, attach them to the Form 1040X. Failure to do so will delay processing.
  7. Additional Reimbursement- If you are making a return to claim a refund for an adjustment resulting in an additional refund, wait until you receive your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund.
  8. Additional tax- If you owe additional tax, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges.
  9. When to file Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original return or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  10. Processing time Normal processing of amended returns is 8 to 12 weeks