What should I do if I made a mistake on my federal return that I've already filed?

Answer:

It depends on the type of mistake you made:

  • Many mathematical errors are caught during the processing of the tax return and corrected by the IRS, so you may not need to correct these mistakes.
  • If you didn't claim the correct filing status or you need to change your income, deductions, or credits, you should file an amended or corrected return using Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

When filing an amended or corrected return:

  • Include copies of any forms and/or schedules that you're changing or didn't include with your original return. To avoid delays, file Form 1040X only after you've filed your original return. Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years after the date you timely filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  • Allow the IRS up to 16 weeks to process the amended return.

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I received my refund, but I made a mistake on my return so it's more than I should have received. I haven't cashed the check. What should I do now?

Answer:

Since the IRS didn't catch your mistake during processing, you should:

  • File an amended or corrected return using Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, as soon as possible.
  • Include any forms and/or schedules that you're changing and/or didn't include with the original return.
  • Return the refund check with your amended return along with a letter of explanation. When your amended return has completed processing, the IRS will issue a new refund check.
  • Write "Void" in the endorsement section of the check when you return it with your amended return.
  • Allow the IRS up to 16 weeks to process the amended return.

 

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How can I check the status of my amended return?

Answer:

You can check the status of your Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, using the Where's My Amended Return? online tool or by calling the toll-free telephone number 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.

When using either tool, you must enter your taxpayer identification number, such as your social security number, along with your date of birth, and ZIP code to prove your identity. Once authenticated, you can view the status of your amended return across three processing stages -- Received, Adjusted, and Completed.

The online 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 16 weeks to process. It can take up to three weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. There’s no need to call the IRS during that three-week period unless the tool specifically tells you to do so. 

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