Q: I just realized that I could have claimed a tax credit this year, but I’ve already filed my return. Is there anything I can do?
A: Yes. You can file an amended return using IRS Form 1040X. If you are eligible to claim a credit, or perhaps a deduction that reduces your tax bill, you should do so.
Q: What if I’ve made a mathematical error on the tax return I already submitted?
A: Generally, you do not need to file an amended return to correct mathematical errors because the IRS will automatically make such corrections and send you a printed notice. Also, amended returns should not be filed for forgotten tax forms such as W-2s or schedules; the IRS normally will mail you a notice asking you for any such forms if they are needed.
Q: What if I’ve forgotten to report income?
A: If you’ve forgotten to report income, you should file an amended return as soon as possible. The sooner you correct such a mistake, the lower any possible penalties and interest you may owe will be. Reporting the additional income on a 1040X form could save you money in the long run.
Q: Can I submit a 1040X form electronically?
A: No. Form 1040X must be filed using the paper form and mailed in. If you are amending more than one tax return, each 1040X form should be mailed in a separate enveloped addressed to the appropriate IRS processing center.
Q: How much time do I have to file an amended return?
A: An amended return must be filed within three years from the date of the original return or within two years from the date taxes were paid, whichever is later.
Q: How long will it take the IRS to process my amended return?
A: According to the IRS, it generally takes between eight and 12 weeks to process an amended return.
Q: Where can I find more information?
A: For more information about amended returns or to print a copy of Form 1040X, go to www.irs.gov and click on the link to Forms and Publications, or visit the IRS YouTube channel: www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUjC0avoZ_I.
The information for this “Law You Can Use” column was provided by the Internal Revenue Service. It was prepared by the Ohio State Bar Association. Articles appearing in this column are intended to provide broad, general information about the law. Before applying this information to a specific legal problem, readers are urged to seek advice from an attorney.