tax tips — November 14, 2011

10 Facts About Amending your Tax Return

by Cheryl Avery

all about amending a tax return

Updated August 1, 2020

How do I fix mistakes on my tax return?

“I filed my taxes and realized there’s a mistake—what now?”

Sound familiar? If so, don’t sweat it—mistakes happen, and your taxes are no different. The IRS has procedures in place to catch and fix simple tax mistakes like math errors, but any information that changes the tax calculations themselves will need to be corrected using an amended return.

“Amended” is just a fancier way to say “fixed,” so here’s everything you need to know about amended tax returns.

Should I amend my tax return or let the IRS fix it?

You should file an amended return if your filing status, dependents, total income or deductions/credits were reported incorrectly. These details change the way your taxes are calculated, so correcting them is very important.

When should I NOT amend my tax return?

If you made a math mistake in figuring your taxes, the IRS will usually correct it. If you forgot to attached a form, such as a W-2 or a schedule, the IRS will simply request the missing form from you. In either case, you don’t have to file an amended return.

What official IRS tax form do I use to amend my return?

Use Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to amend your filed tax return. Depending on what year you filed, you may have to amend a Form 1040EZ or Form 1040A, even though those forms are no longer in use as of July 2018. Otherwise, you’ll be amending Form 1040. Remember to check the box for the year of the return you’re amending on the 1040X.

If you filed your taxes with, filing an amended return is a breeze. Simply log in, change the incorrect information, and add Form 1040X using our Form Search feature. After you fill that out, all that’s left is to print and mail the amended return.

How do I amend more than one tax return?

Prepare a 1040X for each return, and mail them in separate envelopes to the appropriate IRS processing center.

IF you are filing Form 1040X:

THEN mail Form 1040X and attachments to:

In response to a notice you received from the IRS

The address shown in the notice

Because you received reimbursement for a hurricane-related loss

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0255

With Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215

If the above situations do not apply, if you live in:

THEN mail Form 1040X and attachments to:

Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Kansas City, MO 64999-0052

Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0052

Alaska, Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Washington, Wisconsin

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Fresno, CA 93888-0422

Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Wyoming

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Ogden, UT 84201-0052

A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory; or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555 or 4563; or are a dual-status alien.

Department of the Treasury
Internal Revenue Service
Austin, TX 73301-0215

How do I use Form 1040X to amend my tax return?

The form has three columns. Column A shows original figures from the original return (if the return was previously amended or adjusted by the IRS, use the adjusted figures). Column C shows the corrected figures. The difference between the two columns is shown in Column B. You can explain the specific changes and the reason for the changes in an area on the back of the form.

How do I add other forms or schedules to my amended return?

If your changes require other schedules or forms, you can attach them to your 1040X.

How do I file an amended return to claim an additional refund?

If you are filing an amended return to claim an additional refund, you should wait until you have received your original refund before filing Form 1040X. You can cash that check while waiting on your additional refund.

Should I use 1040X to pay additional tax?

Yes. If the error causes you to owe taxes, file your 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible to limit interest and penalty charges.

How long do I have to file an amended return?

As a rule, you must file your 1040X within three years from the date you filed your return, or two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

How long does it take to get an amended return processed?

Normally, amended returns will be processed in 8 to 12 weeks.

For more information on amending a return, check out the IRS website at and download Form 1040-X and its instructions. You can also call the IRS at 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676).

Updated August 1, 2020

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