What You Need to Know About Amending Tax Returns

While the meat of tax season is over, there may be a few returns that need amendment. So here are the top things to know when correcting a 1040 by filing a Form 1040.

• To amend a 1040, you must file a 1040X on paper. It cannot be e-filed.

• You normally don’t need to file an amended return to correct math errors or attach a document. The IRS will automatically correct math errors and send a form to you for missing forms. make those changes for you. Also, do not file an amended return just because you forgot to attach tax forms, such as a W-2 or schedule. The IRS will usually send you a request for those.

• You can track the status of the 1040X three weeks after filing with: ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ at or by calling: 866-464-2050.

• If a refund is due from the original return, wait to receive that refund before filing Form 1040X to claim an additional refund. While amended returns take up to 12 weeks to process, it’s okay to spend the original refund while waiting for any additional refund.

• If more tax is due, file 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to reduce any interest and penalties.

• Common errors corrected are filing status, income, deductions and tax credits.

• To use ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ enter the taxpayer’s Social Security number, date of birth and zip code.

• You usually have three years from the date you filed your original tax return to file Form 1040X to claim a refund. You can file it within two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later. See the 1040X instructions for special rules that apply to certain claims.

• If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each year and mail each year in separate envelopes.

• If you use other IRS forms or schedules to make changes, attach them to your Form 1040X.

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