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Tips for Amending Your 1040 Tax Return

 

Tips for Amending Your 1040 Tax Return

How to Fix Errors on Your Federal Taxes

by Kathleen Krueger

If you realized you made a mistake on your submitted tax return, never fear. The IRS will let you amend your tax return to correct any errors. Common mistakes may include forgotten deductions or credits, incorrect filing status, or missed income. To file an amended tax return, it must be done on hard copy – a paper IRS Form 1040X.

Here are some other things to keep in mind if you have to amend your tax return.

Math Errors? Missing Forms? No Need to Amend

You do not need to amend a tax form due to mathematical errors or if you forgot to include additional forms. The IRS will calculate your return and correct any mathematical mistakes – if the math errors results in more owed taxes or a larger refund, they will contact you by mail. The same is true for additional forms – they will let you know what forms you need to send without you having to amend your return.

Wait to Correct Your Refund Amount

If you need to amend your recently filed 1040 tax return, but have not received your tax refund yet, you should wait to file your amendment until you receive your refund. If you are owed an additional refund, file your amended return once your refund arrives and expect to wait up to 16 weeks for your additional refund amount.

Pay Additional Taxes ASAP

If you realize you forgot to include income or you made another mistake that increases the tax you owe, you should pay the additional tax right away. You can send in Form 1040X to amend your return, but the sooner you pay your owed taxes, the fewer penalties and interest charges you will incur. You can pay online through the IRS.gov website.

Send Extra Forms with Your 1040X

If you made changes to other schedules or forms when you amend your tax return, make sure to attach them to your Form 1040X when you mail it to the IRS.

File Each Year Separately

When filing amendments for more than one year, you must do each year separately and mail them in individual envelopes to avoid confusion. Be sure to include the year of each return on the top of each 1040X Form.

Owed a Refund? Get Your Amendment Filed Within 3 Years

You only have 3 years to file an amended return and receive a tax refund. This is 3 years from the date you originally filed the tax return. For example, if you are owed a refund for tax year 2015 and you filed your return on April 18th, 2016, you would have until April 18th, 2019 to file to amend your return and still be entitled to your refund.

Tracking Your Amended Return

You can check on the status of your amended return through the IRS website option ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ This allows you to track your amended return once it has been in the system for at least 3 weeks.

If you realize that you need to file an amended tax return, you can print Form 1040X from the IRS website or contact the IRS to send you a form.