How to File an Amended Tax Return

Posted by Madison on March 2, 2010

I just finished an amended tax return for a client this week. She originally efiled her tax return for free with H&R Block.

However, a few weeks later she received some 1099s reporting interest she had forgotten about. In addition, she didn’t know that she was eligible to claim the American Opportunity education tax credit for her tuition.

When to File an Amended Tax Return

You’ll need to file an amended tax return if you made a mistake and need to fix your income, deductions, or credits.

In this case, my client needed to report the additional interest which affected her income, and she needed to claim the education tax credit.

How to File an Amended Tax Return

Amended tax returns have to be filed using the paper form 1040X, which is different from the original form 1040 you used to file the first time.

You can find the 1040X in all the tax software programs like TurboTax. You need to include a corrected income tax return with the amendment. Here’s how to complete the 1040X:

  • New Numbers. Include the numbers from your original tax return, your new tax return, and the difference between the two.
  • Explanation. You’ll need to explain to the IRS what you are changing and why. For example, if you forgot to claim your new car tax deduction, identify the change clearly and explain why. I also include the amount of the change and keep the explanations very concise.
  • Mail Your Return. Amended tax returns cannot be efiled, so you’ll have to mail them to the IRS. Don’t forget to sign and date your return before you drop it in the mail!

How Long to Keep your Amended Tax Return

After you file your amended tax return, keep your tax return for 3 years or 2 years from when you paid the tax if it’s later. For more information, see how long to keep tax returns.

Amended Tax Return Deadline

The deadline for filing amended tax returns is three years after the original tax deadline on April 15. For example, a 2009 tax return can be amended until April 15, 2013.

The good news… our client will be getting back another $2,000 for filing an amended tax return!

Get your biggest tax refund, guaranteed. Plus FREE Expert Tax Advice. File your Federal tax return for FREE today with TurboTax!

You can get my latest articles full of valuable tips and other information delivered directly to your email for free simply by entering your email address below. Your address will never be sold or used for spam and you can unsubscribe at any time.


Comments to How to File an Amended Tax Return

  1. Hi Madison,

    How much do you charge for a amended tax return?



    • Right now our fee is $50 for the amendment, in addition to the other fees for the regular preparation.

      What are you thinking, Seb?


  2. We are in the process of buying a house. We were in a contract prior to the April 30th cutoff for the tax rebate. Our H&R block rep had told us that we could file an amended but her office is now closed for the season so what can I do now and is is still possible to file an amended even though its after the 15th of April?


  3. I was wondering how long does it take on prior yr i mailed mine on feb 6th next week will be 3 months,when i call IRS i cant talk to anybody.I was told by prior tax who prepared my taxes 4-6 weeks,just trying to find out.


Previous article: «
Next article: »