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How to amend a federal tax return

Please note: Due to COVID-19 processing delays, it’s taking us more than 20 weeks to process amended returns.

Additional Information:

  • Tax Topic 308 — Amended Returns
  • Should I File an Amended Return?
  • Instructions for Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

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I received my refund, but I made a mistake on my return so the refund is more than I should have received. I haven't cashed the check. What should I do now?

Answer:

Since the IRS didn’t catch your mistake during processing, you should:

  • File an amended return using Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return as soon as possible.
  • Include any forms and/or schedules that you’re changing and/or didn’t include with the original return.
  • Return the refund check with your amended return along with a letter of explanation. Write “Void” in the endorsement section of the check when you return it with your amended return.
  • Don’t staple, bend, or paper clip the check.
  • When your amended return has completed processing, the IRS will issue a new refund check.
  • Allow the IRS up to 16 weeks to process the amended return.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 processing delays, it’s taking us more than 20 weeks to process amended returns.

Additional Information:

  • Should I File an Amended Return?
  • Instructions for Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return
  • Tax Topic 308 – Amended Returns
  • Tax Topic 161 – Returning an Erroneous Refund – Paper Check or Direct Deposit

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Category:

How can I check the status of my amended return?

Answer:

You can check the status of your Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return using the Where’s My Amended Return? online tool or by calling the toll-free telephone number 866-464-2050 three weeks after you file your amended return. Both tools are available in English and Spanish and track the status of amended returns for the current year and up to three prior years.

When using either tool, you must enter your taxpayer identification number, such as your social security number, along with your date of birth, and ZIP code to prove your identity. Once authenticated, you can view the status of your amended return across three processing stages — Received, Adjusted, and Completed.

The online tool includes an illustrated graphic that visually communicates where your amended return resides within the processing stages. As a reminder, amended returns take up to 16 weeks to process. It can take up to three weeks from the date you mailed it to show up in our system. There’s no need to call the IRS during that three-week period unless the tool specifically tells you to do so.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 processing delays, it’s taking us more than 20 weeks to process amended returns.

If you discover an error after filing your return, you may need to amend your return. The IRS may correct mathematical, clerical errors on a return and may accept returns without certain required forms or schedules. In these instances, there’s no need to amend your return. However, do file an amended return if there’s a change in your filing status, income, deductions, credits or tax liability. Use Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return to correct a previously filed Form 1040, Form 1040-SR, Form 1040-A, Form 1040-EZ, Form 1040-NR, Form 1040-NR-EZ, or to change amounts previously adjusted by the IRS. You can also use Form 1040-X to make a claim for a carryback due to a loss or unused credit; however, you may also be able to use Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund instead of Form 1040-X. Also, if the Form 8938, Statement of Specified Foreign Financial Assets applies to you, file it with an annual return or an amended return. See the Instructions for Form 8938 for more information.

Balance Due

If you owe additional tax, and the due date for filing that tax return hasn’t passed, you can avoid penalties and interest if you file Form 1040-X and pay the tax by the filing due date for that year (without regard to any extension of time to file). If the filing due date falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, your amended return is timely if filed or paid the next business day. If you file after the due date, don’t include any interest or penalties on Form 1040-X; they will be adjusted accordingly.

When to File

Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040-X within 3 years after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Returns filed before the due date (without regard to extensions) are considered filed on the due date, and withholding is deemed to be tax paid on the due date. Special rules apply for refund claims relating to net operating losses, foreign tax credits, bad debts, and other issues. For more information, refer to the Instructions for Form 1040-X.

Where to File

You can now submit Form 1040-X, Amended U.S Individual Income Tax Return electronically using available tax software products. Only tax year 2019 and 2020 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR returns that were originally e-filed can be amended electronically. You still have the option to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and should follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form. Check “Where To File” in the Instructions for Form 1040-X for the address to mail your amended return.

Form 1040-X Preparation

File a separate Form 1040-X for each tax year you’re amending. For paper Form 1040-X, mail each form to the IRS in a separate envelope. Be sure to check the box or enter the year of the return you’re amending at the top of Form 1040-X. The form has three columns:

  • Column A shows original figures (the original return) or adjusted figures (prior amendments or exam changes).
  • Column C shows the corrected figures (what they should be).
  • Column B is the difference between Columns A and C. There’s an area on the back of the form to explain the specific changes you’re making and the reason for each change.

When filing by paper, attach copies of any forms or schedules affected by the change, including any Form(s) W-2 received after the original filing. You should also attach Form(s) W-2G and 1099 that support changes made on the return if there was income tax withheld. See the Instructions for Form 1040-X for complete instructions.

When filing electronically, both the electronic Form 1040 and 1040-SR amended returns (with attached Form 1040-X) will require submission of ALL necessary forms and schedules as if it were the original Form 1040 or 1040-SR submission, even though some forms may have no adjustments.

Amended Return Status

You can check the status of your paper or electronically-filed amended return using the Where’s My Amended Return? online tool or the toll-free telephone number 866-464-2050 three weeks after you file your amended return. Both tools are available in English and Spanish and track the status of amended returns for the current year and up to three prior years.

You must enter your taxpayer identification number (usually your Social Security number), date of birth, and ZIP Code in either tool to prove your identity. Once you authenticate, the web tool shows an illustrated graphic to visually communicate the status of your amended return within the processing stages: Received, Adjusted, or Completed. As a reminder, amended returns take up to 16 weeks to process and up to three weeks from the date of mailing to show up in our system. Before that time, there’s no need to call the IRS unless the tool specifically tells you to do so.

Please note: Due to COVID-19 processing delays, it’s taking us more than 20 weeks to process amended returns.

State Tax Returns

A change made on your federal return may affect your state tax liability. For information on how to correct your state tax return, contact your state tax agency.

What if you’ve sent in your income tax return and then discover you made a mistake? You can make things right by filing an amended tax return using Form 1040-X. You can make changes to a tax return to capture a tax break you missed the first time around or to correct an error that might increase your tax.

Can I change my federal income tax return?

Once you have dropped your original income tax return in the mailbox or sent it off electronically, you can no longer change that return. (One exception: If your e-filed tax return is rejected, you can make changes before sending it in again.)

If you want to make changes after the original tax return has been filed, you must file an amended tax return using a special form called the 1040-X, entering the corrected information and explaining why you are changing what was reported on your original return. You don’t have to redo your entire return, either. Just show the necessary changes and adjust your tax liability accordingly.

You generally must file an amended return within three years of the date you filed the original return or within two years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

Can I use tax preparation software to amend my return?

Yes. TurboTax walks you step-by-step through amending your federal income tax return.

Can I e-file a Form 1040-X?

Yes, but only for tax years beginning with 2019. The IRS has set up a new system to handle amended returns going forward with 2019 but you still cannot e-file returns for years prior to 2019. You must print these earlier year amended returns out and send them in by mail.

How do I amend my state tax return?

You can amend your state tax return in two simple steps:

  1. First, fill out an amended federal income tax return, Form 1040-X.
  2. Second, get the proper form from your state and use the information from Form 1040-X to help you fill it out.

Like the IRS, states typically use a special form for an amended return. Many states also use the X suffix for the form number. Some states allow you to e-file amended returns while others require that you file a paper return.

For example, California uses Schedule X. Other states do not. The Hawaii form, for example, is Schedule AMD.

Don’t forget to attach a copy of your amended federal return (Form 1040-X) to your amended state return, if the state requires it, as is usually the case.

Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions about your life and help you fill out all the right tax forms. With TurboTax you can be confident your taxes are done right, from simple to complex tax returns, no matter what your situation.

All you need to know is yourself

Answer simple questions about your life and TurboTax Free Edition will take care of the rest.

Hi, I am working to understand how best to do the following in Turbotax.

  • I created my federal return and my state return in Turbotax in February
  • I e-filed my federal return in February (since I am due a refund) and it was accepted by the IRS
  • I did not file my state tax yet (which I plan to print and mail by USPS closer to 5/17/21 as I owe additional tax)

What I want to do:

  • I need to amend my federal return as I have now made some prior year contributions to my HSA, which will yield an additional refund
  • I want to file a single state return that incorporates all of the information from my original and amended federal return

It looks to me like Turbotax has assumed that I have already filed my state return and that I need to amend my state return now that the federal return has been amended. Since I don’t want to amend my state tax return, I used a test file and deleted my state return, amended my federal return, and created a new state return. However, Turbotax wants to know information about my original state return (such as amount of tax owed or refunded) but again, I do not want to amend my state return as it has not been filed as yet.

I contacted my state tax agency and they confirmed that there is no need for me to file two state returns (original and amended) to align with the federal filings, and that I could simply file one state return that incorporates all of the information on the two federal returns.

I would appreciate any recommendations anyone might have about how I can make this work in Turbotax.

After you file your taxes, you might receive a late form or have some other reason why you need to file an amended federal tax return. If that’s the case, you might be wondering if it’s necessary to also file an amended state return.

Usually, you’ll file an amended state tax return only if the changes to your federal return affect your state tax liability. Ex: Some states require you to report the changes within a specified time after filing the federal amended return.

Once you’ve been notified that the IRS received and accepted your 2021 return, you can prepare an amended federal tax return. If you filed your 2021 return with our online program, you can prepare an amended return with us. Keep in mind that you’ll be creating an amendment by adding new data, so you won’t be changing your existing return.

Steps to File a Federal Amended Return

To file a federal amended return:

  1. Go to your Dashboard or MainMenu.
  2. You’ll see the option to file an amended return at the bottom of the screen after your return is re-filed and accepted.
  3. Follow the directions to amend your return.

Once you prepare your federal amended return, you must print and mail Form 1040X, even if you e-filed your original return. Include copies of any schedules that have changed, and any forms you didn’t include with your original return.

If you made any changes to your original return before starting the amendment process, go back and undo those changes. Otherwise, your amendment will contain incorrect information.

Try to file once and file correctly! But if you need or want to amend, here are 10 things you need to know.

No. 1: Amended returns are NOT mandatory. This may surprise you, but you are not under an affirmative obligation to file an amended tax return. You must file a tax return each year with the IRS if your income is over the requisite level. In fact, you can be prosecuted for failure to file (a misdemeanor) or for filing falsely (a felony). As Wesley Snipes’s misdemeanor convictions show, failing to file carries smaller penalties than filing fraudulently. But once you’ve filed your return, you can’t be prosecuted for failing to file an amended return, even though something may happen after you file that makes it clear your original return contains mistakes. So first ask yourself whether the return you filed was accurate to your best knowledge when you filed it. If it was, you are probably safe in not filing an amendment.

No. 2: You can’t cherry-pick what you correct. You don’t have to file an amended return, but if you do, you must correct everything. You can’t cherry-pick and make only those corrections that get you money back, but not those that increase your tax liability.

No. 3: Some errors don’t merit an amended return. Math errors are not a reason to file an amended return, since the IRS will correct math errors on your return. Likewise, you usually shouldn’t file an amended return if you discover you omitted a Form W-2, forgot to attach schedules, or other glitches of that sort. The IRS may process your return without them, or will request them if needed.

No. 4: Timing counts. Most people suggest you must amend within three years of your original return filing. Actually, you must file a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, within three years from the date you filed your original return or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

No. 5: Only paper will do. Amended returns are prepared on Form 1040X. You must use this form whether you previously filed Form 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ. Amended returns are only filed on paper, so even if you filed your original return electronically, you’ll have to amend on paper.

No. 6: You must amend each year separately. If you are amending more than one tax return, prepare a separate 1040X for each return.

No. 7: Amended returns are more likely to be audited. In general, amended returns are more likely to be examined than original returns.

No. 8: Refunds can be applied to estimated taxes. If you file an amended return asking for considerable money back, the IRS may review the situation even more carefully. As an alternative, you can apply all or part of your refund to your current year’s tax.

No. 9: The statute of limitations is kind to amended returns. Normally the IRS has three years to audit a tax return. You might assume that filing an amended tax return would restart that three-year statute of limitations. Surprisingly, it doesn’t. In fact, if your amended return shows an increase in tax, and you submit the amended return within 60 days before the three-year statue runs, the IRS has only 60 days after it receives the amended return to make an assessment. This narrow window can present planning opportunities. Some people amend a return right before the statute expires. Plus, note that an amended return that does not report a net increase in tax does not trigger any extension of the statute of limitations.

No. 10: Don’t forget interest and penalties. If your amended return shows you owe more tax than you reported on (and paid with) your original return, you’ll owe additional interest and probably penalties too. Even though you might be amending a return from two years ago, the due date for your original return and for payment has long passed. Interest is charged on any tax not paid by the due date of the original return, without regard to extensions. The IRS will compute the interest and send you a bill if you don’t include it. If the IRS thinks you owe penalties it will send you a notice, which you can either pay or contest.

What should you do if you discover an error on a previously filed individual tax return? For example, you might have missed some tax-saving deductions and credits on your 2016 personal federal income tax return that you filed in February. Or you might have recently discovered that you failed to claim some legitimate tax breaks on your 2015 return that you filed last year. Here are the rules for filing an amended return.

How to amend a federal tax return

The first thing to know is that you should not attempt to correct the situation by filing another original return using Form 1040. That will just create confusion at the IRS and cause headaches for you. Instead, file Form 1040X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.”

How long do you have to file an amended return? The answer depends on whether you’re asking for a refund or you owe additional taxes.

When claiming a refund. The sooner you file an amended return, the sooner you’ll receive any refunds due. So it doesn’t pay to wait. If amending your return will produce a tax refund, the deadline for filing Form 1040X is generally the later of:

1. Three years after the original return for the year in question was filed, or

2. Two years after the tax for that year was paid.

Most taxpayers focus on the three-year rule. If you filed your original Form 1040 before the April 15 due date — adjusted for weekends and holidays — you’re considered to have filed the return on April 15 for purposes of the three-year rule. However, if you extended the return to October 15 — adjusted for weekends — you’re considered to have filed on the earlier of the actual due date or the October 15 extended deadline.

To illustrate, suppose you filed your 2016 tax return on March 1, 2017, and paid the tax due on that date. You now realize you should have itemized deductions instead of taking the standard deduction. Based on the three-year rule, you have until April 15, 2020, to file an amended 2016 return and claim your refund. On the other hand, if you extended your 2016 return to October 16, 2017, and then file before the extended deadline on September 1, 2017, the three-year period for filing an amended 2016 return starts running on September 1, 2017.

When additional taxes are due. This is a trickier scenario. If you discover that you understated your tax liability on the original tax return, you’re expected to file an amended return and pay the additional tax. If you don’t and the IRS discovers the error, the government will bill you for:

1. The unpaid tax amount plus interest, which is currently at a 4% annual rate, compounded daily, and

2. The additional failure-to-pay interest charge penalty at a 6% annual rate.

The sooner you file an amended return and pay the tax due, the sooner you’ll stop racking up interest and the failure-to-pay penalty.

You may also be assessed other penalties, depending on the nature of your underpayment — but the IRS can waive all penalties if you show you had a reasonable cause for the underpayment. For example, you might have reasonable cause if you received incorrect information from a third party, such as an inaccurate Schedule K-1 from a partnership or S corporation investment.

Although IRS audits are relatively rare these days, there is a strong chance of getting caught for omitting income that’s automatically reported to the IRS on an information return, such as Form W-2 or Form 1099.

Also, beware of the three-year statute of limitations rule: The IRS generally has three years after the date the original return was filed to discover errors and omissions and assess additional tax, interest and penalties. But a longer six-year statute of limitations rule applies if the original return understated gross income by over 25%. In addition, there’s no statute of limitations on a fraudulent return.

Bottom Line

Filing an amended return is relatively straightforward if you expect a refund — as long as you’re within the requisite two- or three-year window of opportunity. But when you’ve underpaid your taxes, filing an amended return can be a dicey situation. Always consult a tax professional first to discuss the full consequences of amending your return.

Generally, if the original return understated your tax bill by only a small amount, your tax advisor will recommend that you amend your return and pay the additional taxes, interest and penalties as soon as possible.

For larger understatements, let your tax advisor take the reins. He or she has experience in dealing with past-due taxes and may be able to get you off the hook with minimal or no penalties. But be prepared to pay at least the past-due tax plus interest. He or she can also help you file amended business returns, if needed.

John M. Stern, CPA/PFS, is the Managing Partner at PKS & Company, P.A., Certified Public Accountants, a full service accounting firm with offices in Salisbury, Ocean City, MD and Lewes, DE. PKS provides traditional accounting services as well as specialized services in the areas of retirement plan audits and administration, medical practice consulting, estate and trust services, fraud and forensic services and payroll services and offers financial planning and investments through PKS Investment Advisors, LLC. Visit www.pkscpa.com or call 1-800-274-2564.

There are a few things you need to know before you can start the amendment process:

  • To amend your 2021 return, you need to use the same TurboTax account that you used to file your original 2021 return.
    • If you don’t see your 2021 return under Your tax returns & documents on the Tax Home screen, you might be in the wrong account. Use our account recovery tool to find all of your accounts.

    When you're ready to amend, select your product below and follow the instructions.

    • If you have more changes to make, repeat Steps 6–7

    Note: Any changes you make to amend your federal return will automatically be transferred over to your state return. If you’re already amending your federal, you don’t have to make any changes to your state, unless you’re making state-specific changes .

    • If you need to make more changes, repeat Step 6. When you’re done making changes, select Done
    • Name the copy you're saving so that you can distinguish it from the original, for example as 2021_amended_tax_return_Smith

    Note: Any changes you make to amend your federal return will automatically be transferred over to your state return. If you’re already amending your federal, you don’t have to make any changes to your state, unless you’re making state-specific changes .

    If you want to track the status of your amended return, use the IRS Where's My Amended Return? tracking tool. Allow at least 16 weeks for the IRS to process your amended return.

    Processing times for amended state returns vary from state to state. If it's been more than 12 weeks since you filed your amended state return and you haven't heard anything, we suggest you contact your state tax agency .

    I already have my return accepted,but I have to amend it to add the 1099 c form,but I do not see the option in the menu to add it. All I see is 1099 MISC which is a different form. So how can I add the information to amend my return?

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    How do I amend my return to add the 1099 c form?

    I would prepare the amendment but then only send it in if you owe any money or are due any additional refund. There is no cost because you have to mail it in (if you submit it). If you are due an additional refund, you do not have to submit it unless you want to. For more information as to when to amend and how to do so, please view TurboTax FAQ Do I need To Amend My Return. At the end of the answer, there are also links, in blue, on how to do so in TurboTax.

    It would be best to wait until you have received your refund from the tax return already submitted (if you are expecting one). This will prevent delays in receiving your refund and you generally have 3 years to amend, from the day your taxes are due or 2 if you paid taxes due to owing taxes. There usually are no penalties if you will receive a refund.

    Here is how to enter your 1099-C

    1. Click on Federal Taxes (Personal, in Home & Business product)
    2. Click on Wages & Income (Personal Income, in Home & Business product)
    3. Click on I’ll choose what I work on
    4. Scroll down the Screen to Less Common Income
    5. Under the above area is Miscellaneous Income, 1099-A, 1099-C Click on Start or Update

    WAIT until you receive your refund and then follow the instructions below to Amend.

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    How do I amend my return to add the 1099 c form?

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    How do I amend my return to add the 1099 c form?

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    How do I amend my return to add the 1099 c form?

    For instructions on how to amend your return please click the link below.

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    How do I amend my return to add the 1099 c form?

    How do I amend my taxes for a 1099c ? I have already received my refund

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    How do I amend my return to add the 1099 c form?

    @ Aileen34 The 1040X Amendment form will be available for filing on 3/18/2021. At that time, you can then follow the instructions in this FAQ here to amend your 2020 tax return.

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    How do I amend my return to add the 1099 c form?

    Will I have to pay taxes on my amend 1099c I’m on as and food stamps and in low-income housing and this could really hurt me

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    How do I amend my return to add the 1099 c form?

    If you can demonstrate that you were insolvent at the time the debt was cancelled, you may not have to pay any tax on Cancellation of Debt income.

    A taxpayer is insolvent when his or her total liabilities exceed his or her total assets. The forgiven debt may be excluded as income under the “insolvency” exclusion. Normally, a taxpayer is not required to include forgiven debts in income to the extent that the taxpayer is insolvent

    However, the debt cancellation must be reported and you must claim that you’re insolvent on your return. The cancelled debt will then become excluded from income .

    If you are reporting any type of debt cancellation other than qualified principal residence exclusion that TurboTax handles, we generally recommend using the CD/Download version of TurboTax Deluxe or a higher edition. With either of these versions, you’ll be able to easily make a notation regarding your solvency.

    If you started your 2020 return in TurboTax Online and want to switch to the TurboTax download/cd version, click here.

    Note: if already paid for TurboTax online, contact our support representative; otherwise proceed with the desktop purchase.

    Once you have the Download/CD version, there are four steps to claim your exclusion.

    1. Enter Form 1099-C
    2. Create the Insolvency Worksheet
    3. Check entries on Canceled Debt Worksheet
    4. Check Form 982

    1. Enter Form 1099-C

    1. Open (continue) your return.

    2. In the TurboTax program, search for 1099-C or 1099C (lower-case works also) and then click the “Jump to” link in the search results.

    3. Select the type of cancelled debt (main home or other) and then click Continue .

    4. Follow the onscreen instructions to enter information from your 1099-C.

    It will say that “Your Debt is Taxable” , however, the following workaround will exclude it from income.

    2. Create the Insolvency Worksheet

    Click Forms in the upper right corner of your screen

    Click “Open Form” (button on the top Left).

    In the “ Type a Form Name” box at the top, type “ insolvency ”.

    Select the form that pops up and click Open Form .

    Fill out the form which will give you the Amount of insolvency at the end on Line 7 .

    3. Check entries on the Canceled Debt Worksheet

    In “Form Mode “, scroll in the left column to Canceled Debt (Copy 1) and Click . It will open the form.

    Scroll to Part VIII – Exclusion for Insolvency

    On Line 53 “Were you insolvent? Make sure it’s checked Yes

    On Line 54 “Amount of Insolvency” carried from Line 7 of Insolvency Worksheet.

    On Line 57 “Amount Excluded”

    If your total liabilities exceeded the total FMV of your assets at the time of the cancellation, you may exclude the canceled debt to that extent. Complete the “Statement of Insolvency” to compute and document the amount of insolvency.

    4. Check Form 982

    In “Form Mode “, scroll in the left column to Form 982 and Click . It will open the form.

    Make sure that Box 1b is checked to exclude your income to the extent insolvent.

    Once Form 982 is complete you will want to review Form 1040 “other Income” line. This is the amount of your cancelled debt that’s taxable. If you were insolvent, it should be zero or at least less than the total cancelled debt from the 1099-C

    The IRS has a simple process in place that allows you to amend your tax return. Find out how to amend your tax return in this article on tax tips.

    How to amend a federal tax return

    Overview

    You do your best to file a correct tax return. You gather all your W-2s, 1099s, receipts and other documents and navigate through all of the information to find the right schedules and forms. Sometimes, however, new information arises after you file your tax return. Maybe you discovered a tax credit you didn’t realize you qualified for, or missed a 1099 form because it came in late. Fortunately, the IRS has a simple process in place that allows you to amend your tax return.

    Step 1: Gather all new tax documents

    This includes any new 1099 or W-2 you receive if you under-reported your income. If you are claiming a new deduction or credit, any document that supports your eligibility to claim it such as a receipt will be helpful. It’s also a good idea to have a copy of your original tax return available.

    Step 2: Form 1040-X

    Beginning with the 2019 tax years, amended federal returns are able to be electronically filed. If you filed your return with TurboTax, log into your account and select the tax return that you want to amend and follow the online instructions. For paper-filing amended returns, download a copy of IRS Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Income Tax Return. You can easily find it using the search function on the TurboTax website.

    Step 3: Identify the error or amendment you wish to make

    If you are correcting an error on your original tax return, you will need a blank copy of that particular form from the same year. This will allow you to recalculate your tax and to see which numbers on the original tax return will change as a result of the amendment. You can find IRS forms from prior years using TurboTax’s prior-year returns function, or you can search through the IRS website for it.

    Step 4: Download and prepare new schedules and attachments

    When you prepare an amended return, the IRS only wants you to update figures that change. It doesn’t require you to complete an entire tax return. However, if any of the original schedules you filed will change because of your amendment, then those schedules must be prepared again and attached to your Form 1040-X.

    Step 5: Fill out Form 1040-X according to the instructions

    Provide a clear explanation of your reasons for filing the Form 1040-X. If you are paper filing the return, attach all forms you are amending along with any new supporting documentation and mail them to the address provided for your location in the Form 1040 instructions. This will be the same IRS service center that processed your original income tax return. Include a payment for any additional tax due. If you don’t include the payment, the IRS may assess interest and penalties on the unpaid balance.

    Filing an amendment with TurboTax

    If you originally filed your return with TurboTax, we can help streamline the steps outlined above. If you used TurboTax Online, simply log in to your account and select “Amend a return that was filed and accepted.” If you used our CD/download product, sign back into your return and select “Amend a filed return.”

    Tips
    • You must file a separate Form 1040-X for each tax return you are amending.

    Heads up
    • Amended returns can take more than three months for the IRS to process.

    Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions about your life and help you fill out all the right tax forms. With TurboTax you can be confident your taxes are done right, from simple to complex tax returns, no matter what your situation.

    All you need to know is yourself

    Answer simple questions about your life and TurboTax Free Edition will take care of the rest.

    This article will assist you with amending an individual return (1040X) in Intuit ProConnect.

    Before you start:

    • If this is a 2021 tax return and you e-filed the original through ProConnect, you'll need to use the steps in this article to unlock the return.
    • If you didn't prepare the client's original 1040, or you prepared it in a different program, use Amending an individual return (1040X) not created in ProConnect Tax, instead.
    • Starting in tax year 2019, the IRS supports e-filing for certain 1040X returns. See Common questions about e-filing individual amended returns (Form 1040-X) for details on which returns you can e-file.
    • We recommend creating a copy of the original return to save your entries as filed.

    To generate Form 1040X:

    1. Open the original tax return.
    2. Go to the Input Return tab.
    3. Select Miscellaneous Forms.
    4. Select Amended Return (1040-X), then General Information and Federal (1040X).
    5. Mark the checkbox labeled Amending federal return.
    6. A window will open asking if you wish to automatically fill out the As Originally Reported amounts.
      • Select the box to Make a copy of this return if you haven't already done so.
      • Select Yes, transfer data.
    7. Enter a 1 in 1=amending state return, if applicable.
    8. Enter the Year to amend (MANDATORY).
    9. Select the Explanation of Changes tab and enter an explanation to print with the return.
    10. Select the Gen. Info. & 1040X tab.
    11. Fill any applicable fields in the Miscellaneous Information section.
    12. Scroll down to the Federal Income Tax Return section.
    13. Fill out the As Originally Reported column using the amounts from the original 1040.
    14. Use the regular input screens to make any changes to the return.
      • For example, to report additional wages, go to the Wages, Salaries, Tips (W-2) screen and add a W-2.
      • Don't use the Correct Amount [Override] column unless you're amending a prior-year return in the current year program, or it's absolutely necessary. These overrides will stop any automatic calculation and require you to manually calculate the new tax amount.
    15. Review the 1040X for accuracy using the Check Return tab.

    To e-file the amended return:

    1. Go to the Profile tab.
    2. Select the box to select both Federal and Federal Amended for e-filing.
    3. Go to the Check Return tab.
    4. Resolve any critical diagnostics that may generate.
    5. Have your client sign and return Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization.
    6. Go to the File Return tab.
    7. Select E-File Amendment.
    8. Select the E-file button.

    The amounts printed on Form 8879 may look strange. That's because the IRS hasn't issued a new Form 8879 or instructions that address Form 1040X, and ProConnect follows the current IRS instructions for completing tax forms.

    To amend a return previously filed in UltraTax CS, follow the steps below. If the original return was not completed using UltraTax CS, see the Important Notes.

    1. Prior to completing an amended return, you may decide to create a copy of your original return. To do so, open your client in UltraTax CS, choose File > Save As and modify the client ID.
    2. On Screen Amend, enter X in the Transfer original information checkbox to transfer the client’s originally reported information to Screen Amend. Originally reported information is the information that was on the return the last time it was printed. If the return with the original information was never printed, UltraTax CS does not automatically transfer this information to Screen Amend. To transfer it now, unmark the Transfer original information checkbox, choose File > Preview, close the preview, return to Screen Amend, and re-mark the Transfer original information checkbox.
      Important notes!

    • If you are amending a state return, open the state’s Screen Amend, located in the state’s General folder, and mark the Transfer original information checkbox. You must complete this step before moving on to Step 3.
    • If you did not complete the original return in UltraTax CS, you should enter the original figures in the appropriate federal and state screens, preview the return, and then mark the Transfer original information checkbox in federal and state Screens Amend.

    You may also review these steps in a comprehensive article from our Help & How-To Center.

    More Info?
    Please refer to the following articles from our Help & How-To Center for more information on this topic.

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    How to amend a federal tax return

    Thinking of becoming a tax preparer?

    Thomson Reuters has created a complete guide, explaining how to become a tax preparer.

    How to amend a federal tax return

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    Accordingly, do I need to include a copy of my federal return with my state return?

    You do not need to send copies of your state returns with your Federal return. Many states require that you send a copy of your Federal return with your state return. TT will usually print out the Federal return with the state return if this is needed. Yes, you can staple your W-2 to your return.

    Also, when can you file Oklahoma taxes? The 2019 Oklahoma State Income Tax Return forms for Tax Year 2019 (Jan. 1 – Dec. 31, 2019) can be e-Filed together with the IRS Income Tax Return by the April 15, 2020 due date. If you file a tax extension you can e-File your Taxes until October 15, 2020 without a late filing penalty.

    Similarly, it is asked, where do I send my amended state tax return?

    Print out your amended return and mail it to: Franchise Tax Board, PO Box 942867, Sacramento CA 94267-0001 (if payment included) or Franchise Tax Board, PO Box 942840, Sacramento CA 94240-0001 (no payment included).

    How do I file Oklahoma State taxes?

    The Oklahoma Tax Commission is offering free online filing of full-year resident Oklahoma income tax returns through our OkTAP system. Requirements to file using OkTAP: Must be filing a full-year resident return (Form 511) for the current year.

    The Modernized e-File (MeF) system processes both superseding and amended returns for Forms 1041, 1120, 1120S, 1120-F, 1065, and 1065-B. For Forms 990, 990-EZ, 990-PF, and 1120-POL, MeF processes only amended returns.

    A superseding return is a return filed subsequent to the originally filed return, but filed within the filing period (including valid extensions). An amended return is a return filed subsequent to the originally-filed or superseding return, and after the expiration of the filing period (including valid extensions).

    To electronically amend a tax return in GoSystem Tax RS, you must copy the locator, make applicable changes and mark the return as amended, and then re-create and retransmit the e-file from the copy of the original return. When filing a superseding return, re-create and retransmit the return from the originally filed locator after making applicable changes and marking the return as superseded.

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    It’s not uncommon to make a mistake on your federal tax return or leave out important information such as a tax deduction or credit that you’re entitled to—but the IRS has a process that gives you a second chance.

    “An amended tax return is filed when a taxpayer realizes a mistake was made on the initial return and needs to correct it,” says Nell Curtis, an accounting instructor at Milwaukee Area Technical College in Wisconsin.

    Here’s what you need to know about filing an amended return and how to avoid common mistakes when filing.

    What You Need For Your 2021 Taxes

    How to File an Amended Return

    Taxpayers should use Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to file an amendment. You can check the status of your amended return three weeks after it was filed by going to the Where’s My Amended Return? online tool or by calling 866-464-2050.

    You can track the status of amended returns for the current year and up to three prior years. When you check online or call, you’ll need to prove your identity by entering information, including your taxpayer identification number (this could be your Social Security number) along with your date of birth and zip code.

    There are three processing stages of your return: received, adjusted and completed.

    Some common reasons to file include changing the number of dependents you claim, a changed total amount of income from when you originally filed, or that you can now claim tax deductions or credits.

    You can amend your return by going online for Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return—you can correct forms 1040, 1040-A, 1040-EZ, 1040-NR, or 1040-NR EZ. The online form lets you input your data and download it for submission to the IRS.

    Why You May Need to File an Amended Return

    You may need to file an amended return to claim a bigger refund—or because you owe the IRS more money than you initially thought.

    Some reasons people file tax return amendments to a return is because they forgot to report some income, realizing they should or shouldn’t have claimed certain credits or incorrectly claiming dependents, Curtis says.

    Other common reasons for filing an amended tax return include tax forms like W-2s or 1099s arriving late after you have already filed your return. An amended return is necessary to report any income that was left off your first return, Curtis says.

    Tax laws often change—tax credits and deductions are often expanded or taken away, says Daniel Fan, managing director, head of wealth planning at First Foundation Advisors, an Irvine, California-based financial institution.

    For example, in 2021, the child tax credit increased up to $3,600 and included children 17 years and under.

    Another example could be someone taking too much of a deduction for State and Local Income Taxes (SALT) – the deduction was limited to $10,000 starting in 2018 under the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

    People also amend their taxes if they had a change in filing status, change in the number of claimed dependents, incorrectly claimed tax credits and deductions or incorrectly reported income, says Daniel Gibson, a partner at New York-based tax and accounting firm EisnerAmper.

    If you realize you made a mistake or left out some pertinent information, such as claiming a credit or receiving a refund, you have three years from the date you originally filed your return, assuming it was filed by the original return deadline. But once you file an amended return, don’t expect a quick turnaround.

    One Big Mistake Taxpayers Make When Filing an Amended Return

    The most common mistake many taxpayers make when they need to file an amended return is failing to file an amended state income tax return also, Curtis says.

    “Many states rely on the federal return, so if the federal return is amended often the state return needs to be amended as well,” she says. “Additionally, when filing an amended return, the IRS is looking for documentation to support the amendment, so failing to include the appropriate documentation as to why the taxpayer is amending the return is a common mistake as well.”

    You usually don’t need to file an amended return if you discover math or clerical errors on a recently filed tax return, Gibson says.

    “The IRS will often correct those types of mistakes on its own,” he says.

    If the IRS does not fix the math mistake, you should file an amendment to make the correction.

    Was there a mistake made on your taxes that was discovered after filing? You may be able to amend these mistakes using a 1040-X form. Watch this video to find out more about the 1040-X form.

    For information on the third coronavirus relief package, please visit our “American Rescue Plan: What Does it Mean for You and a Third Stimulus Check” blog post.

    The content of this video applies to earlier tax years.

    Video transcript:

    Hello, I’m Jill from TurboTax, with important news for taxpayers about amending tax returns.

    Have you ever discovered a mistake on your tax return or forgot to claim a tax deduction after filing it with the Internal Revenue Service? If so, you may want to consider filing an amended tax return on Form 1040-X. However, before you begin preparing an amended tax return, it’s a good idea to make sure you still have time to file it.

    The Internal Revenue Service limits the amount of time you have to file a 1040-X to the later of three years from the date you file the original tax return, or two years from the time you pay the tax for that year. To illustrate how these two rules work, suppose you file your 2008 tax return long before the April 15, 2009 deadline because you were due a $500 tax refund. If you later discover a tax deduction you are eligible for, but failed to claim, you have until April 15, 2012 to file a 1040-X and collect the additional tax refund that the deduction will provide you with.

    This is because the IRS treats all tax returns you file on or before the deadline as filed on April 15th. However, when you file a tax return after the April deadline, you start counting the three years on the actual filing date.

    But suppose your 2008 tax return reports an amount you owe to the IRS rather than a refund. If you file your return on time but don’t pay the tax until May 15, 2010, you now have until May 15, 2012 to file an amended return under the 2-year rule. Unfortunately, if you don’t file your 1040-X on time, the IRS has no obligation to send you an additional refund.

    Remember, with TurboTax, we’ll ask you simple questions about your life and help you fill out all the right tax forms. With TurboTax you can be confident your taxes are done right, from simple to complex tax returns, no matter what your situation.

    All you need to know is yourself

    Answer simple questions about your life and TurboTax Free Edition will take care of the rest.

    Deadline and perfection period info for individual returns and business returns

    Deadline and perfection period info for individual returns and business returns

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    How to amend a federal return, one state return,(other preparer) but file an additional second original state return (prepared by me). Can I do this at the same time?

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    New tax client’s prior year (2017) Individual Federal and resident state return were filed by someone else. I was preparing taxpayers 2018 Individual returns and discovered some PY errors and that a non-resident state return had not been prepared at all (taxpayer received State K1 and does need to file the state return). Before preparing the 2018 Federal, resident and non-resident state returns I wanted to amend 2017 federal and resident state returns and file the original nonresident state return. Can I do this at one time? Or do I need to file the amendments and the original non resident return separately? if separately, how do I do that without being assessed rep fees more than once (I know and understand there is another fee for the extra state return).

    How to amend a federal tax return

    Given the complicated nature of income taxes and the popularity of convenient but not foolproof DIY tax filing software, it’s understandable that you may make a mistake on your taxes at some point. When this happens, you’ll need to file an amended tax return by filling out Form 1040-X. This may be needed if you’ve made mistakes ranging from under-reporting your income to missing out on tax credits and deductions. For help with fixing tax return issues or any other major financial consideration, think about finding a financial advisor to help you.

    Amended Tax Return Definition

    There are two main reasons a person might want to amend a tax return. The first is if he or she under-reported income. The second is if he or she didn’t claim all the relevant deductions and credits. In the first scenario, amending the tax return increases tax liability. In the second scenario, filing an amended return will decrease tax liability or increase the size of the tax refund.

    If you made a mistake in more than one tax year, you’ll need to file an amended tax return for each year. If you find out that you owe the IRS more than your original tax return would suggest, make sure you pay what you owe in a timely manner, or you could face IRS penalties and interest charges.

    Amended Tax Return Filing Instructions

    How to amend a federal tax return

    If you’re wondering how to amend a tax return, you won’t have to completely redo your tax returns. If you initially filed your federal income taxes using Form 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040EZ-T, 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ you’re in luck. IRS Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, will be your go-to for correcting errors on your tax returns.

    Much of the information you include on Form 1040-X will overlap with what you included on your original 1040. Of course, you’ll need to correct the errors that led you to amend your tax return in the first place. You’ll also need to provide supporting documentation. Reporting income from a source you forgot to include on your original returns? Provide the W-2 form for that income. Adding a new deduction such as a charitable donation? Attach the receipt providing proof that you donated.

    Pretty simple, right? While you previously couldn’t e-file Form 1040-X, the IRS announced in 2020 that it now permits taxpayers to submit the form electronically with commercial tax-filing software. However, you’ll have to print and mail it, if you prefer. The address you send your amended tax return to will depend on the particulars of your filing situation. If you’re using tax preparation software (like TurboTax or H&R Block) you’ll be walked through this process.

    What to Expect From an Amended Tax Return

    You don’t have the rest of your life to file amended tax returns. If you don’t file an amended return within three years of filing the original return (or within two years after paying the taxes based on the original return), you’ll miss your chance to get a refund. The more you owe the IRS, or the more the IRS owes you, the more careful you should be to avoid missing that deadline.

    Expect to wait up to a few months to see the results of your amended your tax return. The IRS is already swamped with the regular volume of tax returns it gets. Add in amended returns and you’re looking at a bit of a wait. The good news is that the IRS makes it easy to check the status of your amended refund on its website beginning three weeks after you send the amended return.

    Bottom Line

    How to amend a federal tax return

    If you discover an error on your tax returns, don’t panic. Filing an amended tax return isn’t the end of the world. Still, you don’t want to make a habit of it. Better to start preparing for tax season well in advance of the deadline. The more complicated your finances, the earlier you should start gathering the documentation you’ll need to file complete and accurate tax returns.

    Tax Planning Tips

    • Income taxes take a significant bite out of your take-home pay each paycheck. It’s important to account for these and other types of taxes in your long-term financial plan. A financial advisor can help you along the way. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
    • A tax refund can be a boon for your overall finances. To figure out how much you’re in line to receive so you can make a plan for the money, give SmartAsset’s Tax Return Calculator a try.

    Photo credit: © iStock/Christine Glade, © iStock/laflor, © iStock/mrdoomits

    How to amend a federal tax returnThere is no question the tax code is massive. No matter how knowledgeable or experienced you are, mistakes will happen. The consequences of such mistakes can be minor or they can cost serious amounts of additional tax, interest and penalties.

    Filing an amended return is your only option after the due date, including extensions. An amended return solves most problems. Interest and penalties may apply. In some cases even an amended return can’t fix an error; you could lose entire deductions forever.

    The number of elections available is large. Some are irrevocable. Making, or failing to make, an election is set in stone in some cases with the original return. Failure to check one little box can cost you a large deduction permanently.

    A superseding return may be the only option if you file it on time.

    Amended or Superseding Return

    A superseding tax return incorporates the new information into the original tax return if filed by the due date, including extensions.

    A superseding return is filed after a subsequent return and before the due date, plus extensions. (That was worth repeating.) The second return is a superseding return. A superseding return it generally treated as the original return, incorporating the new information and modifying (superseding) the earlier return.

    Here is a small example where a superseding return is valuable tool.

    A common error involves the Section 1.263(a)-1(f) de minimis safe harbor election. Most tax professionals (and readers of this blog) know they can deduct assets up to $2,500 rather than depreciate these expenses over a number of years if they make the appropriate election. The election is required every year. (The IRS says the election must be made “timely”. I take this to mean the election must be made on an original return filed by the due date, plus extensions. A late filed return may not allow the election.) The election is irrevocable.

    In my office we automatically make this election for all returns with rental properties or a small business. (All corporate and partnerships returns also automatically get the election.)

    Making the safe harbor election covers items a client may have neglected to inform the tax preparer of. If the election is made and not necessary, no harm done. If the election is necessary and forgotten, serious potential harm exists.

    The IRS is less than clear when it comes to superseding returns. Corporations (S-corps, too) have a nifty box to check when e-filing a superseding return. Only corporations can electronically file a superseding return. Be sure to check the appropriate box or the IRS will probably reject the return as duplicate.

    There are IRS instructions on when a superseding return must be filed on an individual income tax return. Unfortunately there are no instructions how to do it!

    Superseding personal returns MUST be paper filed. Some tax professionals prefer filing a superseding personal return in the format of an original return and writing “SUPERSEDING RETURN” across the top of the first page. Because this will probably be flagged as a duplicate return another method is advised.

    A superseding personal return should be prepared as an amended return on Form 1040X. (There is no superseding box to check.) All amended personal returns filed before the due date, including extensions, are automatically treated as superseding, incorporating the new data and modifying the original return. This means a forgotten irrevocable election CAN be made and is treated as if made on the originally filed return.

    If a superseding return is filed before the due date (without consideration for extensions) interest and penalties are also avoided.

    Amended returns filed after the due date, including extensions, are not incorporated into the original return. A required “timely” election is not allowed at this point.

    In English, What Does This Mean?

    The concept is short and simple, but often forgotten. A business owner may discover forgotten deductions for her business return when filing her personal return. The superseding return is a simple and fast solution for a previously filed corporate return. Add the new data, check the box marking the return as superseding and electronically file.

    Individuals file an amended return for the same result, which must be mailed.

    It sounds like a minor issue. When I review returns from outside my firm I need a powerful tool to make changes, especially when elections are involved. The tax code doesn’t automatically grant you preferred treatment. Special treatment must be requested in writing. Many elections are irrevocable. Many elections are required on an originally return filed by the due date, including extensions.

    In English, filing an amended return before the due date (including extensions) on a personal return supersedes the originally filed return and solves most election issues. You can add a forgotten election if you catch it in time. Waiting for the IRS letter is too late. Consider the superseding return an amended return with a really tight due date, allowing you full sway in how the original return looks. It also eliminates or reduces interest and penalties.

    You can amend a previously filed tax return if you have since discovered that you incorrectly filed a tax return.

    If you over-reported your income or if you are entitled to credits or deductions you did not claim and wish a refund, you must complete and file an amended return within three years from the original or extended due date.

    If you under-reported income or erroneously claimed credits or deductions, you must correct the error by filing an amended return within 30 days of the discovery if the tax change results from:

    The discovery of additional information that could not have been previously obtained by the exercise of due diligence; or

    The occurrence of a contingent event.

    In these circumstances, there is no time limit for filing.

    CAUTION: You may not file an amended PA return after the department issued an assessment if your amendment relates to the same taxable year and item of income, gain, deduction, or loss that the department assessed. You must either file a timely petition for reassessment or pay the assessment and file a timely refund petition. Under PA law starting January 1st 2018, you must submit a Petition Form (Form REV-65) no later than 60 days from the date listed on the assessment notice or if you are petitioning for a refund, no later than six months after from the date shown on the assessment.

    There are a few options for filing an amended return, so please review the information below and select the filing method that works best for you.

      – this option is available to electronically amend a return.
    • tax software – some tax preparation software supports the amended Pennsylvania return, so explore this option if the original return was filed electronically, or
    • paper – this option is always available for filing an amended return, regardless of the tax year. The taxpayer will need to obtain a PA-40 Individual Income Tax Return, a copy of the instruction booklet and a copy of Schedule PA-40X (for the tax year being amended). The forms are available to download on our website. If you need to amend a tax year prior to 2010, please email your request for forms to [email protected]

    Instructions for filing a paper amended return:

    Use a PA-40 return from the same tax year you are amending. For example, to amend a 2014 return, use a 2014 PA Personal Income Tax return. Then, follow these steps:

    Complete the Schedule PA-40X, per the PA-40X instructions. Basically, you will have to:

    • Enter the amounts from your original or most recently amended PA-40 return in column A.
    • Enter the amount of the net change – increase or (decrease) – and provide an explanation or reason for each change in Part III.
      Note: Be sure to include all documentation, such as corrected W-2s and/or amended schedules along with any other documentation to support the increase or (decrease) in income or expenses.
    • For each line, add any increases in Column B to the amounts reported in Column A and enter the total in Column C. Subtract
      any (decreases) in Column B from the amount in Column A and enter the result in Column C and on the corresponding line of
      the amended PA-40 Personal Income Tax Return.

    Complete the PA-40 by:

    • Filling in the “Amended Return” oval and writing “AMENDED RETURN” at the top of the return,
    • Entering the figures from Column C on the Schedule PA-40X you just completed,
    • Complete the appropriate calculations on Line(s) 28 through Line(s)36,
    • Be sure to sign your amended return, and
    • Mail the return and attachments to one of the following addresses:

    PA Department of Revenue
    Payment Enclosed
    1 Revenue Place
    Harrisburg, PA 17129-0001

    PA Department of Revenue
    No Payment/No Refund
    2 Revenue Place
    Harrisburg, PA 17129-0002

    Note: Do not send a copy of the original PA-40, Personal Income Tax Return with the amended PA-40, Personal Income Tax Return.

    How to amend a federal tax return

    The possible mistakes on a federal income tax return is fixed by amending the tax return. If you overpaid taxes due to an error or didn’t know you were eligible for a certain tax deduction or credit, you can amend a tax return to make corrections.

    There are so many instances where you can amend a tax return. Since any error on a federal income tax return can cause you to underpay or overpay taxes, amending a tax return is the only way to fix it. Generally, you need to file Form 1040-X to amend a tax return.

    • Missing Deduction
    • Missing Credit
    • Mistakes on Form W-4
    • Received another tax form that reports income after filing your return
    • Forgot reporting additional income earned
    • Wrong filing status used on federal income tax return
    • Someone claimed your child as a dependent

    When is amending a tax return due?

    The Internal Revenue Service requires that you should amend a tax return within three years from the date you filed the original return or within two years of the date making the tax payment.

    If your tax return is too late to amend it, the Internal Revenue Service may not let you amend the original tax return. Doing an examination of your prior year tax returns is always a good place to start whether or not you need to amend a tax return. Although you surely file your tax return very carefully, with the changing tax laws, it might be quite hard to catch up on what went right and what went wrong on your tax return.

    Taxpayers who need to amend a tax return in the upcoming tax season needs to file the 2021 Form 1040 X. The instructions along with where you need to mail it can be found in the article we’ve covered it.

    How to amend a federal tax return

    You must submit an amended tax return to report additional income, tax credits and deductions after you have filed your Arizona income taxes. When you amend your federal tax return, you also must submit an Arizona amended tax return within 90 days of the final determination of the IRS. To claim a tax refund, you need to file an amended tax return within four years of the date you filed the original return.

    Complete form 140X. Input your identifying information and information from your original tax return in the columns marked “Original Return.” Complete the columns marked “This Return” to add any new or changed information. Using this new information, calculate your refund or amount owed.

    Attach supporting documentation and any payment, if applicable. This includes any 1099 forms you received after you filed your original return. Make your check or money order payable to the Arizona Department of Revenue. You can also make your payment electronically on the aztaxes.gov website. You can pay by credit card or electronic check.

    Mail your amended tax return and payment to: Arizona Department of Revenue P.O. Box 52016 Phoenix, AZ 85072-2016

    Only mail your tax return to this address if you include a payment.

    Mail your amended tax return without payment to: Arizona Department of Revenue P.O. Box 52138 Phoeniz, AZ 85072-2138

    Only mail your tax return to this address if you expect to receive a refund, you owe no taxes or you arent’ including payment with your tax return.

    Call the ADOR at 602-255-3381 for help or additional questions. Hearing-impaired individuals can call 602-542-4021 to use the TDD user line.

    How to amend a federal tax returnPhoto by SEZERYADIGAR/iStock

    As long as a human element is an integral part of the tax return preparation process, errors and omissions on tax returns will remain commonplace. Whether an error or omission is merely typographical, a product of flawed interpretation of a complicated body of tax law, or the result of a misconstruction of the underlying facts, tax practitioners are frequently confronted with issues regarding the accuracy of a previously filed tax return. The decision to file an amended return to correct one or more errors or omissions involves a variety of considerations.

    Practitioners and clients must determine whether the cost of making the correction, i.e., the professional fees, justifies the anticipated result. An amended return that represents a large prospective refund claim, for example, is often worth the time and expense to prepare. On the other hand, correcting a transcriptional error or minor omission that would only slightly change a tax liability may be unjustifiable, given the cost involved.

    Practitioners and clients must also determine their respective levels of risk averseness. An amended return can protect a client from accuracy-related penalties imposed by Sec. 6662 for an understatement of tax shown on an originally filed return. The comfort level of practitioners and clients with respect to the risk of these penalties plays a large role in the decision to file an amended return. While some practitioners are content to "play the audit lottery," others are determined to correct an error or omission of any magnitude, no matter the cost.

    In addition, practitioners may be reluctant to inform a client of an error discovered on an originally filed return if the error resulted from the practitioner’s misinterpretation of the facts or law or other action. Though practitioners are generally required to notify clients of any errors they discover, practitioners may be reluctant to disclose these errors, to limit exposure for professional malpractice or to maintain an image of infallibility with the client. All of these factors play a role in deciding whether to file an amended return to correct errors or omissions on an originally filed return.

    A ‘CREATURE OF ADMINISTRATIVE GRACE’

    Because errors and omissions on tax returns are common, many practitioners consider amended returns to be an integral component of the tax compliance process. Despite this, the term "amended return" or its equivalent does not appear anywhere in the Code; thus, amended returns are not authorized by statute. Rather, amended returns are "a creature of administrative origin and grace" (Badaracco, 464 U.S. 386 (1984)).

    The IRS’s long-standing administrative practice is to recognize amended returns that correct clear errors or plain mistakes on originally filed tax returns (Klinghamer v. Brodrick, 242 F.2d 563 (10th Cir. 1957)). Despite this, the treatment of an amended return is a matter of administrative discretion (Fayeghi, 211 F.3d 504 (9th Cir. 2000)). As a result, the IRS’s refusal to accept an amended return is subject to judicial review only for abuse of discretion (Miskovsky, 414 F.2d 954 (3d Cir. 1969)).

    If the IRS has the discretion to accept or reject an amended return, the question then arises: Is a taxpayer required to file an amended return when an error or omission is discovered on an originally filed tax return? Regs. Sec. 1.451-1(a) states that "if a taxpayer ascertains that an item should have been included in gross income in a prior taxable year, [the taxpayer] should, if within the period of limitation, file an amended return and pay any additional tax due" (emphasis added). Regs. Sec. 1.461-1(a)(3) contains similar "should" language with respect to amended returns and the discovery of erroneous deductions taken in prior years.

    The Supreme Court held that, despite these and other references to amended returns in the Treasury regulations, "[n]one of these provisions, however, requires the filing of [an amended return]" (Badaracco, at 397). Similarly, the Tax Court held that taxpayers are not required by statute to file an amended return when an originally filed tax return is discovered to be incorrect and that the failure to file an amended return in this context does not, by itself, establish an intent to evade tax (Broadhead, T.C. Memo. 1955-328).

    CIRCULAR 230 AND SSTS CONCERNS

    While taxpayers are not required, by statute or otherwise, to file amended returns to correct errors or omissions, tax practitioners are held to a higher, albeit different, standard. Practitioners authorized to practice and represent taxpayers before the IRS are bound by Treasury Circular 230, Regulations Governing Practice Before the Internal Revenue Service (31 C.F.R. Part 10). Section 10.21 of Circular 230 requires any practitioner who knows or discovers that a client has not complied with the federal tax laws or that a client has made an error or omission on any return, document, affidavit, or other paper submitted or executed under the federal tax laws must advise the client promptly of the noncompliance, error, or omission and its consequences. However, nothing in Circular 230 requires correction of the noncompliance, error, or omission or disengagement when the client refuses to make the correction. Ultimately, the option to correct is at the client’s discretion.

    The AICPA takes a similar approach in paragraph 7 of Statement on Standards for Tax Services (SSTS) No. 6, Knowledge of Error: Return Preparation and Administrative Proceedings: "The member should advise the taxpayer of the error and the potential consequences, and recommend the measures to be taken." SSTS No. 6, paragraph 8, continues: "It is the taxpayer’s responsibility to decide whether to correct the error. . Although recognizing that the taxpayer may not be required by statute to correct an error by filing an amended return, a member should consider whether a taxpayer’s decision not to file an amended return or otherwise correct an error may predict future behavior that might require termination of the relationship."

    Similarly, tax attorneys and CPAs should be cognizant of any ethical requirements imposed by their respective state bar associations and governing bodies.

    In short, practitioners are generally required to inform clients of any errors or omissions discovered on originally filed tax returns and recommend that those errors or omissions be corrected. However, this does not appear to bar a practitioner from also informing the client that there is no requirement to file an amended return, provided the practitioner clearly outlines the potential consequences of not doing so. As with any practitioner-client interaction, the ultimate decision usually rests with the client, but the practitioner has a duty to ensure the client is in the best position to make the proper decision, given all the facts and circumstances.

    Editor’s note: A version of this column appeared in the January 2017 issue of The Tax Adviser as "Tax Trends: Decision to Amend Ultimately Falls to the Client."

    How to amend a federal tax return

    If you've made a mistake on your business tax return, you can file an amended business tax return, but the type of form you file depends on your business type.

    If your business is a pass-through type and the tax bill of the business passes through to you on your personal income tax return, you must file an amended personal tax return.

    The pass-through business types are the sole proprietorship, limited liability company (LLC), partnership, and S corporation.

    Who Needs to File?

    You must file an amended business tax return if:

    • You made a substantial error on your return that will affect your tax liability.
    • You received new information that needs to be included.

    You DON'T need to file an amended return if:

    • Your errors were just math errors—the IRS will make the changes.
    • You forgot to attach tax forms—the IRS will ask for these.

    When to File

    In general, the IRS says you must file within three years from the date you filed your original return—or with two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

    Filing an amended business tax return should be done as soon as you discover the error. If you must pay more taxes, file the amended return as soon as possible to avoid fines and penalties. If you are due a refund, you have three years from the date you filed your original return to claim it.

    What Form to Use

    If you need to amend your business tax return, follow the procedure outlined below. Where and how to file an amended return depends on your business type.

    Note: For all forms, you must wait until the original return has been filed before you file an amended return. For a credit or refund, you must file within three years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within two years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

    Sole Proprietor or Single-Member LLC

    File an amended return on Form 1040x by sending the return (you cannot e-file an amended return), including changes to Schedule C and any other schedules, to the appropriate address on Page 4 of the instructions.

    Corporation

    File an amended return on Form 1120x by sending the return, along with any schedules that changed, to the address where you filed your original corporate tax return. You can find this address on page 3 of the instructions for Form 1120.

    Partnership or Multiple-member LLC

    File an amended return on Form 1065 by sending the return, along with any schedules that changed, to the address where the original return was filed. You can find this address on the instructions for Form 1065.

    S Corporation

    File an amended return on Form 1120s by sending the return, along with any schedules that changed, to the address where the original S corporation tax return was filed. You can find the appropriate address on Page 3 of the instructions for Form 1120s.

    How to amend a federal tax return

    Even taxpayers who filed by April 15 may not be done wrangling with Uncle Sam any time soon.

    The reason: They're amending their return. In most cases, the IRS gives taxpayers three years from the date they filed their original return, including extensions, to make changes. Regardless of what form you initially filed, and how, federal income tax amendments must be submitted via paper using form 1040X. Each state has its own forms and procedures.

    "It's not extremely common, but it's certainly not rare, either," said Melissa Labant, director of tax advocacy for the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants. Last April, the IRS said it expected that almost 5 million taxpayers—about 4 percent of the 131.2 million returns received—would file an amended return.

    Although the IRS has not yet released estimates for this year, spokesman Eric Smith said it's likely to be a figure similar to last year's. "It's not unusual for there to be 3 to 4 percent of returns, sometimes a little more, amended in a given year," he said. By April 17, according to its latest report, the agency had received nearly 132.3 million individual returns, 0.8 percent more than last year.

    "We have an amended return for the same reason pencils have erasers," said Smith. "We all make mistakes. … It's a mechanism to fix what's wrong."

    Reasons why a taxpayer might amend an income tax return filed this year, or even in previous years, vary widely. Sometimes it's as simple as a 1099, K-1 or other tax form that arrives or is corrected after you've already filed, said Barbara Weltman, a tax and business attorney based in Vero Beach, Florida. Or maybe you realize you forgot to claim a valuable deduction. Worthless securities and bad debts also merit an amendment, she said—in which case, taxpayers have up to seven years to go back and claim the loss.

    Other circumstances are tied to specific events and rule changes. For example, after the Treasury Department and the IRS ruled in 2013 that married same-sex couples would be treated as married for federal tax purposes, those couples could opt to amend returns filed up to three previous years. Victims of some natural disasters may also be able to amend their prior year's return to include the losses, said Smith, which can result in a faster refund than waiting until the next filing season.

    "It's a relatively simple process to file an amended return if you have the corrected information," said Labant. The three-column Form 1040X has taxpayers copy line items from their original return, noting which should be corrected and the net change. There's a section to explain why you're amending the return. Taxpayers should also attach any documents supporting the change (i.e., that missing charitable donation receipt or corrected 1099).

    There's good reason to file an amendment quickly if you suspect you owe the IRS more. "It stops the clock on penalties," said Weltman. "It behooves you to not wait until the IRS catches you." (Keep in mind, in most cases the IRS can audit returns filed within the last three years, or up to six if a taxpayer fails to report 25 percent of more of his income.) But if you made a simple math error, there's usually no need to amend the return, she said—the IRS's computers usually catch that quickly and generate a notice with your corrected bill.

    Of course, a refund is also good reason to file an amended return. In that case, weigh your time and money costs in refiling against the potential gain, said Labant. "It may not be worth your while," she said. "Why spend a buck to get back a quarter? That's going to vary on a case-by-case basis."

    If the government owes you, don't expect to get that money any time soon. While the IRS has said it issues most tax season refunds within 21 days of receipt, that's for original returns only. "You should generally allow 8 to 12 weeks for Form 1040X to be processed," it notes in the instructions. "However, in some cases, processing could take up to 16 weeks."

    "We very much have a priority during the tax season for current year, original returns," Smith said. "Amended returns are a somewhat lower priority." Paper returns also contribute to the lag, he said, because they must be reviewed by a person rather than a computer.