Amended Tax Return Cover Letter

Summertime Tax Tip 2014-24, August 27, 2014

Don’t worry if you made a mistake on your tax return or forgot to claim a tax credit or deduction. You can fix it by filing an amended return. Here are 10 tips that you should know about amending your federal tax return:

  1. When to amend.  You should amend your tax return if you need to correct your filing status, the number of dependents you claimed, or your total income. You should also amend your return to claim tax deductions or tax credits that you did not claim when you filed your original return. The instructions for Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, list more reasons to amend a return.
  2. When NOT to amend.  In some cases, you don’t need to amend your tax return. The IRS usually corrects math errors when processing your original return. If you didn’t include a required form or schedule, the IRS will send you a request for the missing item.
  3. Form to use.  Use Form 1040X to amend a federal income tax return that you previously filed. Make sure you check the box at the top of the form that shows which year you are amending. Since you can’t e-file an amended return, you’ll need to file your Form 1040X on paper and mail it to the IRS.
  4. More than one year.  If you file an amended return for more than one year, use a separate 1040X for each tax year. Mail them in separate envelopes to the IRS. See "Where to File" in the instructions for Form 1040X for the correct address to use.
  5. Form 1040X.  Form 1040X has three columns. Column A shows amounts from the original return. Column B shows the net increase or decrease for the amounts you are changing. Column C shows the corrected amounts. You should explain what you are changing and the reasons why on the back of the form.
  6. Other forms or schedules.  If your changes involve other tax forms or schedules, make sure you attach them to Form 1040X when you file the form. Failure to do this will cause a delay in processing.
  7. Amending to claim an additional refund.  If you are waiting for a refund from your original tax return, don’t file your amended return until after you receive the refund. You may cash the refund check from your original return. Amended returns take up to 12 weeks to process. You will receive any additional refund you are owed.
  8. Amending to pay additional tax.  If you’re filing an amended tax return because you owe more tax, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax as soon as possible. This will limit any interest and penalty charges.
  9. When to file.  To claim a refund, you generally must file Form 1040X within three years from the date you filed your original tax return. You can also file it within two years from the date you paid the tax, if that date is later than the three-year rule.
  10. Track your return.  You can track the status of your amended tax return three weeks after you file with ‘Where’s My Amended Return?’ This tool is available on or by phone at 866-464-2050.

Visit to get Form 1040X or call 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).

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What is the best and fastest way for me to get information about an amended return?

Use Where's My Amended Return?or call our automated toll-free number 866-464-2050. The application has the most up-to-date information available

Can I get the status of an amended return for multiple tax years?

Where's My Amended Return? can get you the status of your amended returns for the current tax year and up to three prior tax years.

How can I get confirmation you received my amended return?

You can get confirmation through Where's My Amended Return?

How long will it take to process an amended return?

A Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return can take up to 16 weeks to process once we receive it.

Will calling the IRS help me get my amended return processed any faster?

Calling us will not speed up the processing time of your amended return. Our phone and walk-in representatives can only research the status of your amended return 16 weeks or more after you’ve mailed it; or if Where's My Amended Return? itself has directed you to contact us.

How will I know you’ve received my amended return and are processing it?

Where's My Amended Return? follows the processing stages of your amended return from receipt until completion. It will tell you if your return is in received, adjusted, or completed status.

What is happening when my amended return’s status shows as received?

We’ve received your amended return. We are processing it. It can take up to 16 weeks to complete processing.

What is happening when my amended return’s status shows as adjusted?

We’ve made an adjustment to your account. The adjustment will result in a refund, balance due, or in no tax change.

What is happening when my amended return’s status shows as completed?

We’ve completed processing your return. We’ve mailed you all the information connected to its processing.

How often does the tool update?

Where's My Amended Return? updates once a day, usually at night. You can check it daily.

It’s been longer than 16 weeks since you received my amended return and it hasn’t been processed yet. Why?

Some amended returns take longer than 16 weeks for several reasons. Delays may occur when the return needs further review because it:

  • Has errors
  • Is incomplete
  • Isn’t signed
  • Is returned to you requesting more information
  • Includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation
  • Is affected by identity theft or fraud

Delays in processing also can happen when an amended return needs:

  • Routing to a specialized area
  • Clearance by the bankruptcy area within the IRS
  • Review and approval by a revenue office
  • Review of an appeal or a requested reconsideration of an IRS decision

We will contact you whenever we need more information to process your amended return.

What types of amended returns can I find out about using the tool?

You can find out about amended returns mailed to the IRS processing operations. Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return tells you where you need to mail your return.

Where's My Amended Return? cannot give you the status of the following returns or claims:

  • Carryback applications and claims
  • Injured spouse claims
  • A Form 1040, U.S. Individual Income Tax Return marked as an amended or corrected return (not a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return)
  • An amended return with a foreign address
  • A business tax amended return
  • An amended return processed by a specialized unit—such as our Examination Department or our Bankruptcy Department.

Can I use Where's My Amended Return? to find out about the status of my Form 1040 for the current tax year?

No, it doesn’t have information about a current year return or refund. Use our IRS2Go Mobile App or Where's My Refund to find out about your current year tax return.

You can start checking on the status of your current year tax return within 24 hours after we’ve received your e-filed return or 4 weeks after you've mailed us a paper return. The application and tool are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You may find the related tax information useful:

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