Mistakes happen and if you’ve just discovered an error on your past tax return you can still make it right.
Your refund or the amount you owe to the IRS will change if you discovered that any of the following mistakes were made:
- You used an incorrect filing status (filing status you use is that as of December 31 of the filing year; for example if you were single on December 31, 2013 but got married after the new year, filing taxes in 2014 for the 2013 tax year earning you must file as single; you may file as married next year).
- If you discovered that there were credits or deductions that you did not use.
- Number of dependents.
- Total income you reported.
Whenever you make changes to previously filed tax return, Form 1040X must be used. Check the appropriate year for which you are filing the amended return. The amended return has to be done on paper even if you efiled your previous tax return. There may be a possibility that you discovered a common mistake you made in the last few years for which you filed tax returns. If you plan to amend more than one return, each year must be made on a separate Form 1040X and mailed in separate envelopes.
If you expect to receive additional refund as a consequence of amending a previously filed return, deposit the current refund (assuming you received one from the IRS). The IRS will review the amended return and if you qualify for additional refund amount, it will issue a check for the difference. And don’t file the amended return until you receive a refund check. On the flip side, if you owe money on the amended refund, you should make a payment as soon as possible. This will minimize the amount of interest and penalty charges.
Where to send the amended return?
For the addresses where to send your amended tax return, see page 2 of Where To File portion of Instructions for Form 1040X.
There weeks after filing the amended return, you can start tracking it. You can do it at Where’s My Amended Return.
About the Form 1040X
Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return is only two pages long and is focused on differences with the past return. There are 29 line items that encompass income, liability, payments, refund or amount you owe, or exemptions; those categories have 3 columns that serve to make corrections:
- Column A – amount from the original return
- Column B – amount of increase or decrease of that amount
- Column C – the correct amount that should have been reported
Make sure to save a copy of this form for your records.