If you discover an error after your return has been filed, you may need to amend your return. The IRS 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! However, do file an amended return if there is a change in your filing status, income, deductions, or credits. Also, if the Form 8938 (PDF), Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets, applies to you, the form must be filed with an annual return or an amended return. See When and How To File in the Form 8938 Instructions (PDF).
Use Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040 (PDF), Form 1040A (PDF), Form 1040EZ (PDF), Form 1040NR (PDF), or Form 1040NR-EZ (PDF). If you owe additional tax for a tax year for which the due date for filing the return has not passed, file Form 1040X and pay the tax by the due date for that year (without regard to any extension of time to file) to avoid penalties and interest. If the due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, filing the form and paying the tax will be timely if filed or paid the next business day. To determine where you should file Form 1040X, see Where To File in the Form 1040X Instructions (PDF).
File a separate Form 1040X for each year you are amending. Mail each form in a separate envelope. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X. The form has three columns. Column A shows original or adjusted figures from the original return. Column C shows the corrected figures. The difference between Columns A and C is shown in Column B. There is an area on the back of the form to explain the specific changes being made and the reason for each change. Attach any forms or schedules that are affected by the change. Generally, to claim a refund, Form 1040X must be filed within 3 years after the due date of your original return (or if you filed your return under an extension of time to file, 3 years after the date you filed your return) or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Returns filed before the due date (without regard to extensions) are considered filed on the due date.
- Attach copies of any forms or schedules that are being changed as a result of the amendment, including any Form(s) W-2 received after the original return was filed.
- Tax forms can be obtained by calling 800-829-3676 or visiting www.irs.gov.
- An amended tax return cannot be filed electronically under the e-file system.
- Normal processing time for Forms 1040X is 8 to 12 weeks from the IRS receipt date.
Please note: Your state tax liability may be affected by a change made on your federal return. For information on how to correct your state tax return, contact your state tax agency.
You can check the status of your Form 1040X (PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, using the "Where's My Amended Return?" (WMAR) online tool or the new toll-free telephone line 866-464-2050 three weeks after you file your amended return. Both tools are available in English and Spanish and track the status of amended returns for the current year and up to three prior years.
You must enter your taxpayer identification number, usually your social security number, date of birth, and ZIP code in either application to prove your identity. Once authenticated, you can view the status of your amended return across three processing stages--Received, Adjusted and Completed.
The Web tool includes an illustrated graphic that visually communicates where your amended return resides within the processing stages. As a reminder, amended returns take up to 12 weeks to process and up to three weeks to show in the application. There’s no need to call the IRS unless the application specifically tells you to do so.
Page Last Reviewed or Updated: January 22, 2014