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Amend Income Tax Returns

What you need to know about filing an amended tax return

You’ve filed your federal tax return and now discovered you’ve made a mistake. What should you do? You can fix the errors by filing an amended tax return. 

Here are a few tips that can help you:

• Start by using the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant (ITA). The ITA topic Should I File an Amended Return? can help you determine if you should file an amended return to correct an error or make other changes to your original return.

• Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to file an amended tax return. Be advised — you can’t e-file an amended return. A paper form must be mailed.

• File an amended tax return if there is a change in your filing status, income, deductions or credits.

• Generally, you don’t need to file an amended return to correct math errors. The IRS will automatically make those changes for you. Also, don’t file an amended return because you forgot to attach tax forms such as Forms W-2 or schedules. If necessary, the IRS normally sends a request asking for those documents.

• In general, you must file Form 1040X within three years of the date you filed your original tax return or within two years of the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Be sure to enter the year of the return you are amending at the top of Form 1040X.

• If you’re filing an amended tax return to claim an additional refund, wait until you receive your original tax refund before filing Form 1040X. 

• If you owe additional taxes with Form 1040X, pay the tax with the return or as soon as possible to minimize interest and penalties.

• You can use the IRS Where’s My Amended Return? tool on IRS.gov to check the status of your amended tax return three weeks after you mailed it. This automated tool is also available in Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, and Russian. 

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