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How to Correct Federal Tax Returns

Updated for Tax Year 2015


OVERVIEW

The IRS has a simple process in place that allows you to amend your tax return. Find out how to amend your tax return in this article on tax tips.


Overview

You do your best to file a correct tax return. You gather all your W-2s, 1099s, receipts and other documents and navigate through all of the information to find the right schedules and forms. Sometimes, however, new information arises after you file your tax return. Maybe you discovered a tax credit you didn't realize you qualified for, or missed a 1099 form because it came in late. Fortunately, the IRS has a simple process in place that allows you to amend your tax return.

Step 1 - Gather all new tax documents

This includes any new 1099 or W-2 you receive if you under-reported your income. If you are claiming a new deduction or credit, any document that supports your eligibility to claim it such as a receipt will be helpful. It's also a good idea to have a copy of your original tax return available.

Step 2 - Form 1040X

Download a copy of IRS Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Income Tax Return. This is the only form you can use to amend a personal tax return. You can easily find it using the search function on the TurboTax website.

If you originally filed your return with TurboTax, we can help you amend it.

Step 3 - Identify the error or amendment you wish to make

If you are correcting an error on your original tax return, you will need a blank copy of that particular form from the same year. This will allow you to recalculate your tax and to see which numbers on the original tax return will change as a result of the amendment. You can find IRS forms from prior years using TurboTax's prior-year returns function, or you can search through the IRS website for it.

Step 4 - Download and prepare new schedules and attachments

When you prepare an amended return, the IRS only wants you to update figures that change. It doesn't require you to complete an entire tax return. However, if any of the original schedules you filed will change because of your amendment, then those schedules must be prepared again and attached to your Form 1040X.

Step 5 - Fill out Form 1040X according to the instructions

Write a clear explanation of your reasons for filing the Form 1040X. Attach all forms you are amending along with any new supporting documentation and mail them to the address provided for your location in the Form 1040 instructions. This will be the same IRS service center that processed your original income tax return. Include a payment for any additional tax due. If you don't include the payment, the IRS may assess interest and penalties on the unpaid balance.

Filing an amendment with TurboTax

If you filed your original return with TurboTax Online, simply log in to your account and select “Amend a return that was filed and accepted.” If you used our CD/download product, sign back into your return and select “Amend a filed return.”

Tips
• You must file a separate Form 1040X for each tax return you are amending.

Heads up
• Amended returns can take up to three months for the IRS to process.

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The above article is intended to provide generalized financial information designed to educate a broad segment of the public; it does not give personalized tax, investment, legal, or other business and professional advice. Before taking any action, you should always seek the assistance of a professional who knows your particular situation for advice on taxes, your investments, the law, or any other business and professional matters that affect you and/or your business.


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