Topic no. 308, Amended returns

If you discover an error after filing your return, you may need to amend your return. The IRS may correct certain errors on a return and may accept returns without certain required forms or schedules. In these instances, there's no need to amend your return. However, file an amended return if there's a change in your filing status, income, deductions, credits, or tax liability. Use Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to correct a previously filed Form 1040-series return or to change amounts previously adjusted by the IRS.

Direct deposit

If you electronically file your Form 1040-X, for quicker delivery of your refund, you can select direct deposit and enter your banking or financial institution information.

You still have the option to submit a paper version of Form 1040-X and receive a paper check. You should follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form.

For our current processing status, check our processing status dashboard. Processing an amended return remains a manual process; however, including direct deposit information on an electronically submitted form provides a convenient and secure way to receive your refund faster. For more details, see Form 1040-X frequently asked questions.

Balance due

If you owe additional tax, and the due date for filing that tax return hasn't passed, you can avoid penalties and interest if you file Form 1040-X or a corrected return (Form 1040) and pay the tax by the filing due date for that year (without regard to any extension of time to file). This return will replace or supersede the original return. If the filing due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, your superseding return is timely if filed or paid the next business day. If you file after the due date, don't include any interest or penalties on Form 1040-X; they will be adjusted accordingly.

When to file

Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040-X within 3 years after the date you filed your original 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, and withholding is deemed to be tax paid on the due date. Special rules apply for refund claims relating to net operating losses, foreign tax credits, bad debts, and other issues. For more information, refer to the Instructions for Form 1040-X.

How to file

See About Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Amended return status

Check the Where's My Amended Return? online tool or call 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 tax year and up to three prior tax years. You should generally allow 8 to 12 weeks for your Form 1040-X to be processed. However, in some cases, processing could take up to 16 weeks. You can visit our processing status dashboard for more information on our timeframes.

State tax returns

A change made on your federal return may affect your state tax liability. For information on how to correct your state tax return, contact your state tax agency.

Additional information

For more information, refer to Should I file an amended return?, the Instructions for Form 1040-X and "What If I Made a Mistake?" in Chapter 1 of Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax for Individuals.