Amending your tax return after it’s been submitted
If you find a mistake or omission on your tax return after it has already been submitted it is not too late to correct it. Taxpayers can file an amended tax return using Form 1040X, an Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct the tax return. Amendments cannot be filed electronically. The form can be obtained on the IRS website (www.IRS.gov/forms) at any time. Mail the Form 1040X to the address listed in the form’s instructions.
Amended tax returns should be filed to correct errors or make changes to an original tax return. For example, taxpayers should amend to change their filing status, or to correct their income, deductions or credits. However, taxpayers don’t need to file an amended return to correct math errors on their original return. The IRS will automatically correct these items.
In addition, taxpayers do not need to file an amended return if they forgot to attach tax forms, such as a Form W-2 or a schedule. The IRS will mail a request to the taxpayer, if needed.
Taxpayers usually have three years from the date they filed the original tax return to file an amendment to claim a refund. A taxpayer can file it within two years from the date they paid the tax, if that date is later. That means the last day for most people to file a claim for a refund for tax year 2016 is April 18, 2020.
Taxpayers who are amending more than one tax return must file a Form 1040X for each tax year. The forms should be mailed separately to avoid confusion. If a taxpayer uses other IRS forms or schedules to make changes, they need to attach them to the Form 1040X.
If the taxpayer is due a refund from their original tax year 2016 return, they should wait to get it before filing an amendment to claim an additional refund. Amended returns may take up to 16 weeks to process. If the taxpayer will owe more tax, they should file the amendment and pay the tax as soon as possible to avoid penalties and interest. You may use Direct Pay to pay directly from your checking account at no additional fees.
Generally, a taxpayer can track the status of their amended tax return three weeks after they file. The IRS has a tool that can track the status of an amended return for the current year and up to three years back. If a taxpayer has filed amended returns for multiple years, they can check each year, one at a time.