What You Need to Know about Amended Tax Returns by Adam Slavin

Posted on June 05, 2014 by Adam Slavin

After April 15, individuals who discover they forgot to include important information in the tax files they shared with their accountants, or who made mistakes on their federal tax returns, have an opportunity to make corrections by filing an amended return.

Filing an amended return requires attention to the following:

• File an amended tax return only when there is an error in filing status, income, deductions or credits on a taxpayer’s original return.

• There is no need to file an amended return to correct math errors or because forms, such as W-2s, were not attached to the original return.

• File an amended tax return on paper using IRS Form 1040X Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. E-filing is not permitted.

• The IRS allows taxpayers three years from the date of filing their original tax returns to file an amended return with Form 1040X or they may file within two years from the date they paid the tax, if that date is later. Special rules apply to certain claims, for which a certified accountant can provide guidance.

• When amending more than one tax return, prepare a Form 1040X for each year and mail each form in separate envelopes.

• When expecting a refund from an original return, wait to receive that refund before filing Form 1040X.

• When additional tax is due, file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible in order to reduce interest and penalties.

• Be patient. Amended returns take up to 12 weeks to process.

• Track the status of the amended tax return three weeks after filing it by calling 866-464-2050, by visiting the IRS website’s “Where’s My Amended Return” tool or by downloading the IRS2Go app, which is available on both Apple and Android devices.

About the Author: Adam Slavin, CPA, is a senior manager in Berkowitz Pollack Brant’s Tax Services practices. For more information, call (561) 361-2000 or email