What should you do if you already filed your federal tax return and then discover a mistake? Don’t worry; you have a chance to fix errors by filing an amended tax return. Here are 8 facts you should know about filing an amended tax return:
- Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to file an amended tax return. An amended return cannot be e-filed. You must file it on paper and mail it.
- You should consider filing an amended tax return if there is a change in your filing status, income, deductions, credits or you are affected by the recent legislation passed in December of 2019, which retroactively passed some tax extenders for the 2018 tax year. (Though you cannot change from married filing joint to married filing separately.)
- You normally do not need to file an amended return to correct math errors. The IRS will automatically make those changes for you and will send you a notice showing the changes. Also, do not file an amended return because you forgot to attach tax forms, such as W-2s or schedules. The IRS normally will send a request asking for those.
- Generally, you must file Form 1040X within three years from 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 are amending more than one tax return, prepare a 1040X for each return and mail them to the IRS in separate envelopes. You will find the appropriate IRS address to mail your return to in the Form 1040X instructions.
- If your changes involve the need for another schedule or form, you must attach that schedule or form to the amended return. If you are filing an amended tax return to claim an additional refund, wait until you have received your original tax refund before filing Form 1040X.
- mended returns take up to 16 weeks to process. You may cash your original refund check while waiting for the additional refund. The IRS will issue you a check if you are due a refund on the amended return. A refund on an amended return cannot be directly deposited to your bank account.
- If you owe additional taxes with Form 1040X, file it and pay the tax as soon as possible to minimize interest and penalties.
Once three weeks have passed you can check the status of your amended return by using a tool on IRS.gov. Be sure to contact your Henry+Horne advisor with any questions.