Form 1040-X Amended Tax Return: What It Is and How to File One

Amended Tax Return

In this article, you will get to know what an Amended Tax Return is and when you should file it. We would also tell you how to file the Amended Tax Return by using the IRS Form 1040-X and other associated information you should know.

Have you made a mistake while filing your federal tax return? Don’t panic. The IRS has made provisions so that you can correct the mistake. This is why an amended tax return is for. You can use IRS Form 1040-X to file an amended return.

How to Amend or Correct a Tax Return?

You need to file the IRS Form 1040-X to amend or correct your tax return submitted already. In this form, you need to specify to the IRS the changes you desire on the tax return and the proper tax amount. Please note the following-

  • If you have discovered errors in returns for multiple years and want to correct them, you will have to submit separate Form 1040-Xs for each of these returns. You will also be required to include forms /schedules that are possibly affected by such corrections/ changes.
  • If you are filing a Form 1040-X to get a refund, you should do so within 3 years of filing the original return or within 2 years of making the tax payment, whichever is later.
  • You might discover an error in the return before the IRS does. Also, you may have received new tax documents after already filing one. ( for example, your employer may have sent you a revised W-2). In such cases too, you need to fill in Form 1040-X and include the details.
  • From the year 2020 onwards, the IRS has made provisions for the taxpayers to file Form 1040-X electronically. Now you can file the amended 1040 and 1040-SR forms as well for tax years 2019 onwards online. However, if you want to file an amended tax return for returns pertaining to the year 2018 or earlier, you must file the amended return with the IRS through email.
  • Amending your federal tax return means you will need to amend your state tax return as well.

Can you File an Amended Tax Return all by yourself?

Yes. If you have simple tax situations with small changes to make, you can file an amended tax return very much on your own. You can take the help of any available accounting and tax software. These software may include modules to help you file an amended tax return.

If you are not confident enough to prepare an amended tax return all by yourself, you may ask for professional help. You may hire the services of a professional tax preparer. He/ she will charge you for the services rendered. Make sure to provide correct and detailed information to him, before he starts his work. . don’t assume he or she will amend your tax return for free or pay the extra taxes, if you forget to give the preparer certain important information or if you gave incorrect information, you may end up paying more to him/ her for the extra work. If the error is at the end of the preparer, you may settle the fee/payment as per the provisions of your client agreement with him.

Have a Check on the Calendar

As a general practice, the IRS audits tax returns from the previous three tax years only. There are major exceptions though. Even if you may be tempted to wait and check if the IRS discovers an error in your return, it may be cheaper for you to discover the error and take corrective measures sooner rather than later. This is because the  IRS charges interest and penalties against outstanding tax liabilities, effective from the original due date of your tax payment. So, if you wait too long to fix a mistake, you may end up paying a hefty amount in the form of interest and penalties.

How to Track the Progress of your Amended Tax Return?

You can easily track the progress of your amended return with the help of the online tracking tool designed by the IRS. You can also check the progress by calling the IRS support team. 

Usually, it takes 3 weeks for an amended tax return to appear in the system maintained by the IRS. Moreover, it may take up to 16 weeks for the IRS team to process your amended return. If you can spot no development after 16 weeks, you may call the IRS and ask about the status of your amended return.

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