Tips to Keep in Mind When Amending Your Tax Return

Michael Lodge – Tax Tip –

Taxpayers can fix mistakes or omissions on their tax return by filing an amended tax return. Those who need to amend will find the following tips helpful.

  1. File using paper form. Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct the tax return. Taxpayers can’t file amended returns electronically. They can obtain the form on IRS.gov/forms at any time. Mail the Form 1040X to the address listed in the form’s instructions.
  2. Amend to correct errors. File an amended tax return to correct errors or make changes to an original tax return. For example, taxpayers should amend to change their filing status, or to correct their income, deductions or credits.
  3. Don’t amend for math errors, missing forms. Taxpayers generally don’t need to file an amended return to correct math errors on their original return. The IRS will automatically correct these items. In addition, taxpayers do not need to file an amended return if they forgot to attach tax forms, such as a Form W-2 or a schedule. The IRS will mail a request to the taxpayer, if needed.
  4. File within three-year time limit. Taxpayers usually have three years from the date they filed the original tax return to file Form 1040X to claim a refund. A taxpayer can file it within two years from the date they paid the tax, if that date is later. That means the last day for most people to file a claim for a refund for tax year 2013 is April 18, 2017. See Form 1040X instructions for special rules that may apply.
  5. Use separate forms for each year. Taxpayers who are amending more than one tax return must file a Form 1040X for each tax year. Mail each year’s Form 1040X in separate envelopes to avoid confusion. Note the tax year of the amended return on the top of the Form 1040X. Check the form’s instructions for where to mail the amended return.
  6. Attach other forms with changes. If a taxpayer uses other IRS forms or schedules to make changes, they need to attach them to the Form 1040X.
  7. Wait to file for corrected refund for tax year 2016. If due a refund from their original tax year 2016 return, taxpayers should wait to get it before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund. Amended returns may take up to 16 weeks to process.
  8. Pay additional tax. If the taxpayer will owe more tax, they should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest. Consider using IRS Direct Pay to pay any tax directly from a checking or savings account at no cost.