IRS Advice on Filing Amended Tax Returns
Here are 10 facts from the Internal Revenue Service about amending a federal tax return for you or your clients.
If you or your clients discover an error after filing a tax return, you can correct it by amending the return. The IRS has some tips on how to go about filing an amended return.
You should file an amended return if your filing status, your dependents, your total income, or your deductions or credits were reported incorrectly.
In some cases, you do not need to amend a tax return. The IRS usually corrects math errors or requests missing forms - such as W-2s or schedules when processing an original return. In these instances, do not amend the tax return.
Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to amend a previously filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. Make sure you check the box for the year of the return you are amending on the Form 1040X. Amended tax returns cannot be filed electronically.
If you are amending more than one years tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them in separate envelopes to the appropriate IRS processing center.
The Form 1040X has three columns. Column A shows original figures from the original return (if however, the return was previously amended or adjusted by IRS, use the adjusted figures). Column C shows the corrected figures. The difference between Column A and C is shown in Column B. There is an area on the back of the form to explain the specific changes and the reason for the change.
If the changes involve other schedules or forms, attach them to the Form 1040X.
If you or your clients are filing to claim an additional refund, wait until the original refund has been received before filing Form 1040X. Your clients may cash that check while waiting for any additional refund.
If your clients owe additional tax, they should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges.
Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040X within three years from the date when the original return was filed or within two years from the date the tax was paid, whichever is later.
Normal processing time for amended returns is 8 to 12 weeks.