- Days left

Error on Your Tax Return? How to Amend It With Form 1040X

×
Taxes form
AOL
After working so hard to get your taxes filed on time, finding out that you made a mistake on your return is just about the worst news you can possibly get, short of an IRS audit.

But making changes to your tax return isn't as hard as many people fear it'll be. Let's take a look at what you need to do to fix errors and whether filing an amended tax return is your best move.

Do You Have to Amend?

What step you should take when you discover an error depends on what kind of mistake it is. The IRS usually corrects simple mistakes like math errors, and it can often accept and process returns even when certain forms and schedules are left out. In those cases, the IRS suggests not formally amending your return, waiting instead for the IRS to go through its ordinary process and get back to you with any necessary changes.

However, the IRS suggests filing an amended return if there's a change in your filing status, income, deductions or credits. By completing Form 1040X, you can correct errors and make sure that your tax liability is correct.

How the Form 1040X Works

Form 1040X looks a lot different from most IRS forms in that it's mostly just a summary of your income, deductions, taxes, and payments. Rather than having to go through line by line in excruciating detail, all the IRS wants to know on 1040X is what the old figures were, how much the corrections changed those figures, and what the new figures are.
Unfortunately, as simple as that sounds, things get more complicated when you turn the page. On the back of the form, the IRS asks for a full explanation of why you had to amend your return, with supporting documentation and any changed or previously unfiled forms and schedules attached.

Why It's Worth Doing

Having to amend your return can be a hassle, but it's worth doing. In some cases, amending will get you a bigger refund if the error is in your favor. In others, it'll save you from having to pay penalties and interest when the IRS catches up with a mistake that led you to under-pay.

In amending your return, keep a couple things in mind. First, to claim a refund, you generally need to amend within three years of the due date of the return. Also, if you haven't gotten your original refund yet but want to amend to get even more money back from the IRS, wait until you get your original refund before amending.

To find out more about amending your tax return, visit the IRS website here.

Increase your money and finance knowledge from home

How to Buy a Car

How to get the best deal and buy a car with confidence.

View Course »

Building Credit from Scratch

Start building credit...now.

View Course »

TurboTax Articles

What is a 1098-E: Student Loan Interest

If you're currently paying off a student loan, you may get Form 1098-E in the mail from each of your lenders. Your lenders have to report how much interest you pay annually. Student loan interest can be deductible on federal tax returns, but receiving a 1098-E doesn't always mean you're eligible to take the deduction.

What is Schedule F: Profit or Loss from Farming

If you earn a living as a self-employed farmer, you may need to include a Schedule F attachment with your tax return to report your profit or loss for the year. The Internal Revenue Service defines ?farmer? in a very broad sense?whether you grow crops, raise livestock, breed fish or operate a ranch.

Add a Comment

*0 / 3000 Character Maximum

3 Comments

Filter by:
Dee Dee

Are you looking for a Certified Tax Preparer? Whether we like it or not, today’s tax laws are so complicated that filing a relatively simple return can be confusing. It is just too easy to overlook deductions and credits to which you are entitled. Even if you us a computer software program there’s no substitute for the assistance of an experience tax professional. Preparing your own tax return can be a task that leave you with more questions than answers. For more information go to: http://www.ibourl.net/taxpreparer

March 02 2015 at 1:21 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Anne Go

Great article Dan. I do agree that it can be a hassle in amending your tax, however we should think that it is better to do it now to avoid further problems in the future. BTW, if anyone needs to fill out a “IRS 1040-X form”,I found a blank form here: http://goo.gl/LsuQln

November 13 2014 at 1:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jevonbellam

up to I saw the bank draft four $9876, I did not believe that my mom in-law was like actualey making money part time from there labtop.. there dads buddy had bean doing this 4 only ten months and at present paid the dept on there place and got a brand new Maserati. we looked here, FAB33.COM

May 02 2013 at 2:57 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply