Tips for Filing an Amended Tax Return

What should you do if you already filed your federal tax return and then discover a mistake?

Don’t worry — you have a chance to fix errors by filing an amended tax return.

Here’s what you should know:

  1. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to file an amended tax return. You cannot e-file an amended return. You should consider filing an amended tax return if there is a change in your filing status, income, deductions or credits.
  2. 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 Forms W-2 or schedules. The IRS normally will send a request asking for those documents.
  3. Generally, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original tax return or within two years of the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X.
  4. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a Form 1040X for each return and mail them to the IRS in separate envelopes.
  5. You will find the appropriate IRS address to mail your return to in the Form 1040X instructions.
  6. If your changes involve the need for another schedule or form, you must attach that schedule or form to the amended tax return.
  7. If you are filing an amended tax return to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original tax refund before filing Form 1040X. You may cash your original refund check while waiting for the additional refund.
  8. If you owe additional taxes with Form 1040X, file it and pay the tax with the return or as soon as possible to minimize interest and penalties.
  9. You can generally expect your amended return to be processed up to 16 weeks from the date it is received.
  10.  You can use the IRS Where’s My Amended Return? tool on to check the status of your amended tax return three weeks after you mailed it. This automated tool is also available in Spanish.


Tips for Filing an Amended Tax Return

Table of Contents