Tax Tips: Amended Tax Returns

Did you miss an opportunity to increase your refund? File an amended return. This year's tax-filing deadline is Tuesday.

Tax day is Tuesday, and many people have already filed their tax returns—but what if they need to make a change? Perhaps they missed a chance to increase their refund through additional deductions or credits.

Fortunately, there's still time to file an amended return, according to the Internal Revenue Service.

Amended returns are filed using Form 1040X (Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return) to correct previously filed Forms 1040, 1040A or 1040EZ, according to the IRS. Amended returns must be filed via paper forms, and if the changes involve another schedule or form, that schedule or form must be attached to the return.

When filing an amended return, taxpayers should make sure they enter the year of the return being amended at the top of Form 1040X, according to the IRS. Amended returns must be filed within three years of the date the original return was filed or within two years of the date when the tax was paid, whichever is later.

According to the IRS, people who are amending more than one tax return must prepare at 1040X for each return. The returns must be mailed in separate envelopes to the appropriate places. Taxpayers can find the IRS campus addresses in the Form 1040X instructions.

Additionally, taxpayers should wait until they receive their original refund before filing Form 1040X, according to the IRS. They can deposit their original refund while waiting for an additional one.

Taxpayers who are filing an amended return because they owe additional taxes in 2011 should file Form 1040X and pay their taxes before Tuesday so they don't get hit with interest or penalties, according to the IRS. Even if an extension is filed, taxpayers still have to pay their taxes by Tuesday.

Amended returns don't need to be filed to correct math errors, as the IRS will generally correct them automatically, according to the agency. Amended returns don't need to be filed because a taxpayer forgot to attach a W-2, schedule or additional form—the IRS will ask for them.

For more information, check out Tax Topic 308 (Amended Returns) on IRS.gov.


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