Tax Return Errors: How to Correct Mistakes

What to Do if You Make a Mistake on Your Taxes

tax refund

tax tipsYou’ve filed your tax return and now it’s time to relax—or is it? What if you suddenly realize that you made an error? Don’t worry, the Internal Revenue Service has you covered. You can make changes by filing an amended tax return.

Here are some things the IRS wants you to know about filing an amended return.

1. You can use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct errors. Know that you are required to file an amended return on paper. E-File is not allowed.

2. If you made an error claiming your filing status, income, deductions or credits on your original return, you should file an amended return.

3. If you made a math error, you usually don’t need to file an amended return. The IRS will make those changes. In addition, you don’t need to file an amended return if you forgot to attach tax forms, such as a W-2 or schedule. Generally, the IRS will send you a request for those forms.

4. Time is on your side. Says the IRS: “You usually have three years from the date you filed your original tax return to file Form 1040X to claim your refund. You can file it within two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later.”

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5. You’ll need to prepare a 1040X for each year if you are amending more than one tax return. The IRS says you should mail each year in separate envelopes.

6. If you’re expecting a refund from your original return, the IRS advises taxpayers to wait to receive that refund before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund

7. The ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ tool allows you to track the status of your amended return three weeks after you file. This tool is available on or by phone at 866-464-2050.