Amended Tax Returns: How and When to File

When you file any tax forms, you have to make sure that the information you provide is accurate. Of course, you are only human. So you might find (at a later date) that you made an error on your return. If you discover you made a mistake, you need to correct it or you could face the wrath of the Internal Revenue Service. So it’s time you learn about amended tax returns.

You will need to file an amended return to remedy any issues with the return. However, there is one issue that doesn’t require you to file an amended return – a calculation error on the return when all of the vital information about income and the like are accurate.

When to File Amended Tax Returns

The time you have to file an amended return depends on whether you are going to owe money or receive a refund. If you have to pay tax, you need to file by the date the return was originally due. But if you file after that date, you will be responsible for a late fee and interest on the payment you make.

If you are due a refund, you have two years after the date you paid money to the IRS for the original return or three years after the date the return was filed. You can still amend the return after this date; however, you won’t be able to claim the refund.

How to File Amended Tax Returns

Gather your paperwork, including the original return, the information you need to complete the amended return, and a copy of the 1040X. You must complete the 1040X in its entirety and mail it to the IRS. Electronic submissions or e-filing isn’t allowed for amended returns.

On the amended return, Column A is for the information that was on your original return. Column B is for what the information should have been–enter the corrected figures. Column C is for the difference between the two columns.

File and Prosper

The amended return can take as long as three weeks to show up in the IRS’s Where’s My Amended Return? system. Additionally, it can take up to 16 weeks for the IRS to process these returns, so you will have to be patient.


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