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How to File an Amended Return

April 17, 2014

You have filed your tax return, but you find that you have made a significant error on your tax return such as an incorrect filing status, Social Security Number, tax credits, etc. Before you begin to consider filing an amended return, know that you do not need to file an amended tax return if there are math errors or if you missed attaching a form or schedule with your return. In such cases, the IRS corrects calculation errors and sends the missing form to be filed.

When to File an Amended Return

You need to file an amended return only if you made errors in:

  • The number of dependents claimed
  • Filing status
  • Total income quoted
  • Tax deductions
  • Tax credits

As errors in the items mentioned above leads to underpayment or overpayment of taxes, it is essential to file an amended return to limit chances of an audit or an assessment of penalties for erroneous filing of taxes.

Filing an Amended Return

To file an amended return, you need to complete Form 1040X and send it through post. Amended tax returns cannot be sent electronically. You must use Form 1040X to amend Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ.

After you have filled in the required information in the columns A, B and C, turn over the form. Here, at the back of the form, you need to explain to the IRS the reason why you needed to file an amended return with documents to support your claims.

If you are also filing multiple amended tax returns for previous year(s), then you need to use separate Forms 1040X and use separate envelopes to send them to the IRS. Make sure that you include the correct tax year for which you are filing an amended return.

Tax Refund & Filing an Amended Return 

If you await a refund from the original tax return that you filed, you must first wait for your refund to reach you and then file your amended tax return. If you are due any additional refund after the filing of the amended return, the IRS will send it to you.

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