If you feel that you paid too much in taxes in the past, there are ways to correct tax errors. Whether you discover a mistake or a missed deduction, you have a remedy.
File a paper IRS Form 1040X within 3 years of the original filing date, or within 2 years from the date you paid the taxes, whichever comes later.
How amended returns can correct tax errors
If you find an error that gives you a bigger refund, or a mistake that means you owe more tax, you must redo everything on the form. If other schedules or forms were involved in the error, you have to resubmit all of them. It could be worth the work if it gives you a refund.
Here are a few helpful nice-to-knows about filing an amended return with the IRS.
- Paper forms are the only choice. You can’t file an amended return online.
- If you move to a new state, file where you currently live.
- Amended returns are allowed up to 7 years after in the specific case of bad debts or when securities become worthless.
- Use Form 3115 to correct missed depreciation deductions. You can receive missed depreciation deductions for several years in one year.
- After you amend a federal return, you’ll have to amend your state and local returns as well.
- If you’re married and filed separately, you can amend to file jointly — but not the reverse.
- If you filed a joint return and have since divorced, you can only amend the return’s calculation of income.
- It’s your job to justify the changes on your amended return. If you do so, amended returns do not increase the likelihood that you’ll be audited.
While it may seem like a hassle, filing an amended return could put more money in your pocket from several years of returns.