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When to File an Amended Tax Return

What do you do if you realize that you made an error on your tax return after you file? First of all, don't panic! The IRS knows that mistakes happen and they have a system in place to help correct them.

How Do I Amend a Tax Return?

If you need to amend a return you've already filed, you can use form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to fix any errors. This form cannot be filed electronically, so you'll need to complete and send in a paper copy to the IRS.

Form 1040X typically needs to be filed within three years of when the original return was submitted, or within two years of when you paid any tax due from a specific return. Essentially, you can't amend a return several years after the fact—you need to submit the appropriate paperwork and documentation within a reasonable time frame.

If your amended return puts you in the position of owing additional taxes, you should file and pay as soon as you can. Otherwise, you may end up owing the IRS even more money in the form of penalties, fees, and interest. 

When Do I Need to Amend My Return?

If you find that you've made mathematical errors on your tax return, you typically don't need to file an amended return. The IRS will flag and fix those errors on their own.

Filing an amended return is necessary, though, if you realize that you need to change your:

  • Income
  • Deductions
  • Tax credits
  • Filing status

These elements can have a significant impact on your tax liability, so you need to make sure that the correct information gets submitted to the IRS as soon as possible.

Can I Get Help to File an Amended Return?

If you're not sure whether or not you should file an amended return, or if you have questions about how to file, contact a tax professional for guidance. Taxation Solutions, Inc. provides comprehensive tax services to residents of the San Antonio area—we're here to help answer your tax questions and communicate with the IRS. Call us today for help filing amended returns and more!