The IRS allows you to correct mistakes on a tax return you've already filed by filing an amended tax return.
• You typically can file an amended tax return to correct your filing status, the number of dependents you claim, and your gross income.
• You can amend your tax return to increase or decrease the number of deductions and credits you reported on your original tax return.
• There’s usually don't need to file an amendment to correct math errors. The IRS checks returns to ensure mathematical accuracy.
• If a correction relates to items you report on a schedule, you’ll usually need to prepare a new schedule and submit it with the Form 1040-X.
If you make a mistake on a tax return you’ve already filed, the IRS allows you to correct those mistakes by filing an amended tax return. If the correction results in an increase in the amount of tax you owe, it’s to your advantage to file the amendment to avoid potential interest and penalties on the underpayment.
When to amend a tax return
The IRS typically allows you to file an amended tax return to correct:
- Filing status
- Number of dependents you claim
- Gross income
- Deductions and credits
If your original return reports the correct information but has math errors, there is often no need to file an amendment. The IRS regularly checks returns for mathematical accuracy. In the event they find a math error, your return will be automatically recalculated. The IRS will notify you in writing of any recalculation and its affect on your tax bill or refund. When you file with TurboTax, our calculations are guaranteed to be 100% accurate.
TurboTax Tip: To receive a tax refund, you usually need to file an amended return by the later of three years from the original due date of the return, three years from the date you actually file if after the deadline, or within two years of paying tax for that year.
Time limitations to amend
You have a limited amount of time to file an amended tax return; otherwise, the IRS typically won't accept it for a refund of tax. To receive a tax refund, an amended return needs to be filed by the later of:
- Three years from the original due date of the return
- Three years from the date you actually file if after the deadline
- Within two years of paying tax for that year
For example, if you file your 2019 tax return on March 15, 2020, then you have until April 18, 2023 to get your amended tax return to the IRS. For a 2022 tax return filed in 2023, the deadline was April 18, 2023 and therefore 2022 amended returns have to be filed prior to April 18, 2026.
As a result, you typically don't have an obligation to file an amended tax return after the relevant limitation period even if the correction would increase the amount of tax you owe. However, the IRS will not issue a refund check for an amended return you file after the limitation period.
Preparing your amended tax return
Personal tax returns are amended by filing Form 1040-X. If the correction relates to items you report on a schedule, you'll need to prepare a new schedule and submit it with the Form 1040-X.
For example, if you file an amended tax return because you omitted charitable deductions on your Schedule A, you'll need to recalculate your itemized deductions and file it with your Form 1040-X. Form 1040-X doesn't require you to recalculate the entire tax return; rather, you only include line items that are affected by the change. The form also provides you with space to explain your reasons for filing the amendment.
State income taxes
When you amend your federal tax return, you may also need to amend your state income tax return. Most states calculate taxable income based on information you provide on your federal return. Therefore, changes you make to your federal return are likely to affect your state return.
For example, if you file the amended tax return to increase your refund by adding the charitable contribution deduction you omitted, it may also reduce your state tax.
With TurboTax Live Full Service, a local expert matched to your unique situation will do your taxes for you start to finish. Or, get unlimited help and advice from tax experts while you do your taxes with TurboTax Live Assisted.
And if you want to file your own taxes, you can still feel confident you'll do them right with TurboTax as we guide you step by step. No matter which way you file, we guarantee 100% accuracy and your maximum refund.