Some taxpayers might need to amend a tax return…here’s what they should know

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IRS Tax Tip 2019-150, October 28, 2019

Taxpayers may discover an error after filing their tax return. They shouldn’t panic, they just need to correct it by filing an amended tax return.

Here are some common reasons to file an amended return:

  • Using the wrong filing status
  • Entering income incorrectly
  • Not claiming credits for which they’re eligible
  • Claiming deductions incorrectly

The IRS may correct math or clerical errors on a return and may accept returns without certain required forms or schedules. In these instances, there's no need for taxpayers to amend the return.

Taxpayers who do need to amend their tax return might have questions about how to do so. Here are some things they should know. The taxpayer should:

  • Complete paper Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Taxpayers must file an amended return on paper even if they filed the original return electronically.
  • Mail the Form 1040-X to the IRS address listed in the form’s instructions PDF under Where to File. Taxpayers filing Form 1040-X in response to an IRS notice should mail it to the IRS address indicated on the notice.
  • Attach copies of any forms or schedules affected by the change.
  • File a separate Form 1040-X for each tax year. Mail each tax year in a separate envelope and enter the year of the original return being amended at the top of Form 1040-X.
  • Wait – if expecting a refund – for the original tax return to be processed before filing an amended return.
  • Pay additional tax owed as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges.
  • File Form 1040-X to claim a refund within three years from the date they timely filed their original tax return or within two years from the date the person pays the tax – usually April 15 – whichever is later.
  • Track the status of an amended return three weeks after mailing using Where’s My Amended Return? It can take up to 16 weeks for the IRS to process an amended tax return.

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