Tax Return Amendment, Change
In order to make changes, corrections, or add information to an income tax return that has been filed and accepted by the IRS or state tax agency, you must file a tax amendment to correct your return(s). If you have e-filed a current tax year return via eFile.com, you can prepare your amendment directly from your eFile.com account and then efile it. See how to prepare an IRS tax amendment in your account. For assistance, contact us for more information.
If you did not use eFile.com for your IRS accepted return, you can complete the Form 1040-X (for tax years 2019 and later) and Form 1040-X (for tax years 2018 and before). Then print, sign, and and mail in the form to the IRS.
If you need to amend your federal return, you generally should amend your state return as well. Find out about state tax amendments and previous tax year amendments.
Amending Your Tax Return
You should file an amendment as soon as you become aware of a change or correction that is needed on your return. It is best to file your amendment in the filing season it was due. We also recommend waiting to receive your refund or until your tax payment has processed for the current tax year. This is to make sure that the IRS does not make the adjustment on their end for you and to assure the difference is applied to your amendment.
We make it easy for you to prepare and efile your federal amendment for the current tax year if you have e-filed your current tax year IRS return on eFile.com. Amendment preparation from your account is not available for previous year tax returns. You can prepare and efile your amendment from your eFile.com account, but you will need to do this by the October deadline. Tax amendments for state tax returns can be completed from the respective state page(s).
See step by step instructions on how to efile a current tax year tax amendment.
Previous year amendments can be completed for free, but will need to be mailed in as the IRS does not accept e-filed returns for years that have passed. It does not cost anything to fill in and mail a tax amendment.
Already filed your amendment? You can check your amendment status for the current tax year and up to 3 prior tax years here:
Check Tax Amendment Status
Tips regarding your federal and state amendment for all tax years:
Important eFile Tax Tip: Your state tax return may be significantly impacted by changes you make to your federal income tax return. Generally, if you amend your federal return, then you should amend your state return as well; see state tax amendment forms. Check if you might need to file a state tax amendment as well or first contact your state tax agency. State contact information is at the bottom of the respective state page.
Currently, the IRS processing rate for mailed and e-filed amended returns is up to 16 weeks. The IRS does not support direct deposit for an amended return, so they will mail a check if you are owed a refund.
When to File a Tax Amendment
How long do you have to file a tax amendment?
If you are due a tax refund from your current year tax return, the IRS states that you should generally wait until you receive your refund before filing your amendment if you are claiming an additional refund. The IRS can take up to 16 weeks (or 4 months) to process amended returns. In order to claim a tax refund, a tax amendment has to be filed within 3 years you filed the original tax return (including extensions) or within 2 years of the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. After 3 years, you can no longer claim a refund and the money goes to the government. All prior tax years or back taxes can no longer claim tax refunds via an individual income tax amendment after three years.
If you owe taxes as a result of your amendment, you should file your amendment and make your tax payment as soon as possible to avoid further tax penalties and interest. If you owe taxes, you should file an amended return even if 3 years have passed. Refunds are forfeited after 3 years, but tax debts stay on the IRS books for a minimum of 10 years. It is possible to owe taxes and penalties with your amendment, so it is best to submit a payment with your forms. You can also make a payment directly to the IRS online (recommended) be selecting the correct tax year for the amendment.
Here are a few common scenarios and examples of where you should file an amendment:
When NOT to File an Amended Tax Return
If your return is taking a long time to process or you are waiting on your tax refund for more than 21 days, you should not file a tax amendment. This will not speed up the process and it might slow it down; a tax amendment is only made to change or correct something on your accepted tax return.
If you did not e-file your tax return, you may have made simple math errors or forgotten to attach certain forms (e-filed returns are automatically calculated and do not require paper forms to be sent in). The IRS will generally catch the mathematical mistakes and correct the errors while they process your original return. If the IRS wants additional information from you (e.g. a missing form or clarification on information included in the original return), they will generally send you a request via a letter in the mail. The IRS will NOT call you or email you.
If you e-filed your return on eFile.com, the tax app will have already done the math correctly for you and made sure you had the proper forms filled out based on your entries.
If you are questioning if you need to file a tax amendment, refer to this table for common scenarios:
Do not File an Amendment
I need to change my bank information for direct deposit
, I submitted an incorrect or old bank account.
Do not File an Amendment
I received an IRS Letter CP12
or other letter alerting me of a change to my return and I do not agree with the change; unless specifically instructed.
File an Amendment
I failed to add a tax form
(W-2, 1099, or other form) to my return that would affect my refund or taxes owed.
File an Amendment
I selected single, but need to file as married filing jointly (or other filing status
Tax Amendments and e-Filing
If you prepared and e-filed your current year tax return on eFile.com, you can sign in and prepare and efile your IRS tax amendment right in your account.
For previous tax years or back taxes, complete the following form:
For Tax Years 2019 and after: complete and sign this Form 1040-X via our online editor, then print and mail your amendment to the IRS address listed.
For Tax Years 2018 and prior: complete and sign this Form 1040-X via our online editor, then print and mail your amendment to the IRS.
Some state tax amendments can be completed in your eFile.com account as well, but some cannot. Select your state(s), then complete and follow the instructions for the selected state(s). If you are amending IRS Tax Form 1040 or Form 1040-NR by filing Form 1040-X in response to a notice you received from the IRS, mail it to the address shown on that notice.
Select from one of these options for instructions:
Refund From Amendment
Once you have mailed in your federal tax amendment Form 1040-X, it can take up to 16 weeks (or 4 months) from the IRS receipt date until the form is processed. You can check the status of your amended return on the IRS Amended Return Status tool by clicking the button below and clicking on the Amended Return Status button:
Check Tax Amendment Status
You can also call the IRS amended return hotline at 1-866-464-2050; see additional IRS contact numbers.
Note: The IRS "Where's My Refund" online service does not track the status of amendment refunds.
If you are amending a return in order to get an additional tax refund, you can go ahead and cash or deposit any refund you get in the meantime. However, do not file your amended return until after you have received the refund. It generally takes the IRS 16 weeks (or 4 months) to process an amended return, so you should wait at least 12 weeks before checking on the status of your new amended tax refund. Once your amended return has been processed, you will receive any additional refund you are owed.
If it has been over 16 weeks and you still have not received your amended refund check, you can find more information about your refund by calling the IRS amended return hotline at 1-866-464-2050 or click on the Amendment Status link above.
More than One Amendment
You can file more than one amendment, but if you file two or more amendments at the same time, you should use a different Form 1040-X for each tax year. Make sure that you enter the correct tax year at the top of each 1040-X form. Sign each amended return and mail each one in a separate envelope to the IRS. The IRS allows you to amend a return for a specific return up to three times.
If you have more questions about tax amendments, contact eFile.com.
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