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You've clicked "send" on your tax return or you've sent off the paper tax returns. And then you realize that you made a mistake. You forgot to include some income or you forgot to take an important deduction. Or worse. You got a tax form from a business just now, and realize that you have to include those numbers on your taxes.

Don't worry. You can fix your tax return by filing an amended return, Form 1040-X. Most likely, you'll also need to fix your state tax return, so look for an "X" form on your state's website. Watch out, though. If you've never filled out an amended tax return, the form can be a bit confusing. You might be best off hiring a tax preparer to help you with this.

Here's an important point: If your revised income tax return is going to cause you to owe money to the government, get it in with your payment as soon as possible. You will be charged penalties and interest for the entire time that the amount due was outstanding (which might be sometime during last year, the end of last year, or the date you originally filed your return, depending upon your circumstances).

Tracy L. Coenen, CPA, MBA, CFE performs fraud examinations and financial investigations for her company Sequence Inc. Forensic Accounting, and is the author of Essentials of Corporate Fraud.

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TurboTax Articles

Amending Your Income Tax Return

What if you've sent in your income tax return for a previous year and then discover you made a mistake? You can make things right by filing an amended tax return. And, don't think an amended return will automatically cost you money; it's perfectly okay to change a return to capture a tax break you missed the first time around.

How to File Taxes with IRS Form 1099-MISC

If you receive tax form 1099-MISC for services you provide to a client as an independent contractor and the annual payments you receive total $400 or more, you'll need to file your taxes a little differently than a taxpayer who only receives regular employment income reported on a W-2.

What If I Did Not File My State Taxes?

At the time of this writing, the only states that do not charge a state income tax are Alaska, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Washington and Wyoming. If you live or earn money in one of the other 41 states or the District of Columbia, you may need to file a state income tax return by April 15. It is a separate and independent requirement from filing your federal tax return and failure to file it on time may result in interest and penalty charges.

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