COLUMBUS, Ohio – Taxpayers who have forgotten to claim a tax credit, missed a deduction or discovered a mistake on their federal income tax returns are being encouraged by the Internal Revenue Service to file an amended return.
“Just because you initially overlooked a money-saving tax credit or deduction when you filed earlier this year, it doesn’t mean the opportunity to claim that credit or deduction is lost to you. IRS Form 1040Xwill amend or correct a previously filed individual tax return,” said Jennifer Jenkins, IRS spokesperson for Ohio. “If you’re eligible to claim a credit or deduction that reduces your tax bill, why pass it up? File an amended return.”
Generally, taxpayers do not need to file an amended return to correct mathematical errors because the IRS will automatically make such corrections and send a printed notice. Amended returns should not be filed for forgotten tax forms such as W-2s or schedules, the IRS normally mails a notice asking for those if needed.
“On the other hand, if you forgot to report income, you should also go ahead and file an amended return – sooner, not later. The sooner you correct the mistake, the lower any penalties and interest you may owe will be. It’s not quite the same as claiming a forgotten credit or deduction, but reporting the additional income on a 1040X could save you money in the long run, too,” Jenkins said.
The Form 1040X cannot be submitted electronically and must be filed using the paper form and mailed in. If more than one tax return is being amended, each 1040X should be in a separate envelope addressed to the appropriate IRS processing center. 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. The IRS says it takes 8-12 weeks to process an amended return.
“Scams can take many shapes and forms, so you’ve got to be leery of scammers’ attempts to fleece hardworking people of their money through use of official-looking written and electronic means,” Jenkins stated. “Real IRS notices are delivered onlyby the U.S. Postal Service. Also, the IRS does not send unsolicited e-mails, tweets, text messages or other electronic communication about your tax return,” she said.
For more information about amended returns or to print a copy of the Form 1040X, go to