File an Amended Tax Return with IRS Form 1040-X
Have you made a mistake on your tax return? You can correct errors and claim missed refunds by filing an amended tax return. The IRS provides Form 1040-X specifically for amending returns. Here’s a guide on how to use Form 1040-X to file an amended tax return.
A federal tax amendment involves submitting a corrected Form 1040. You’ll need to fill out and send in IRS Form 1040-X to revise a return you already submitted. Reasons to file an amended return include:
- Forgetting to report income
- Finding new deductions or credits, you now qualify for
- Filing with the wrong filing status
- Needing to fix your income, payments, or credits
Amend your tax return help get your taxes right and ensure you only pay what you owe. Read on to learn the step-by-step process.
When should you file an amended return?
To claim a refund, you typically must amend a return within three years of filing your original return or two years of paying the tax, whichever is later. Early returns are treated as filed on the due date. Withheld tax is considered paid on the due date. Special rules extend deadlines for situations like net operating losses, foreign tax credits, bad debts, etc. Check the 1040-X online instructions or consult a tax pro for deadlines for your specific case.
How to file an amended tax return
Filing an amended tax return involves:
- Getting a copy of the return you’re amending
- Filling out IRS Form 1040-X
- Mailing Form 1040-X to the IRS
- Mailing state-amended returns if required
Let’s look at each step:
Get Your Original Return: You’ll need your original tax return from the year you’re amending. This helps accurately complete Form 1040-X. If you don’t have it, get a transcript from the IRS listing essential info. Call 800-908-9946 or request it on the irs website.
Complete Form 1040-X: Form 1040-X is the Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return form. You must use it to amend a previous federal return. States may need separate amended forms.
On Form 1040-X, report all information as originally filed. Then, indicate the changes you want to make. The IRS will correct your original return using the 1040-X revisions. Be thorough and precise on Form 1040-X. Attach documents explaining any changes.
E-file or Mail the Form: E-filing allows convenient, fast electronic submission. It eliminates printing and mailing. The process is typically quicker, with faster refunds and fewer errors.
Print and sign Form 1040-X after completing it. Mail the signed form to the IRS address in the instructions. Send by certified mail to track delivery. Attach W-2s and documents supporting the changes. Don’t attach a copy of your original return.
File State Amended Returns: If your federal tax return changes affect your state taxes, you’ll likely need to file an amended return with your state, too.
Check your state’s requirements on how to amend your state tax return. Your state may also need supporting documents.
How long does the IRS take to process an amended tax return?
The IRS usually processes amended returns within 16 weeks. Amended return refunds can take up to 3 months to issue.
You can check the status of your amended return using Where’s My Amended Return? or by calling the IRS. Be sure to wait for the full processing time before following up.
Can you E-file amended tax forms?
Taxpayers can e-file up to 3 amendments for a tax year. After the 3rd accepted amendment, further attempts won’t be processed electronically. Amended returns must match the original filing method. E-filed originals allow e-filing amendments, while mailed originals require mailing amendments.
Can you amend a tax return more than once?
Yes, you can file an amended return multiple times if necessary. But you can only amend each issue once. For example, if you correct your filing status, you can’t amend it again to fix it. But if you later realize you forgot income, you could amend it again to add that income.
Get help filing an amended return
Amending returns can get complicated, especially with multiple changes. Consider getting help from a Small Business Accountants if:
- Your taxes involve investments, self-employment, etc.
- State and federal changes are needed.
- You need to amend multiple year’s returns
- You’re worried about 1040-X mistakes
Tax pros can ensure you complete Form 1040-X accurately and avoid penalties. It’s often worth it for peace of mind.
Don't stress about amending your taxes
While amending returns requires extra work, it’s a routine process. Form 1040-X walks you through correcting your taxes.
Pay close attention to IRS deadlines and instructions when amending. With patience for processing times, you can successfully file an amended return and get your taxes right!