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How to Prepare an Amended Tax Return


Determine the error on the original return. Every error will require that you re-calculate your tax return. Some sections may not change, but it is important to check all of your return for errors.


Start with your original tax return and correct the erroneous information. Then work through the tax return to correct the math and change the numbers.


Fill in the new numbers on the Form 1040X. As of 2009, Form 1040X only requires the corrected numbers. Double check your entire return to ensure there are no further errors.


Mail your amended return to the IRS. Be sure to include any additional forms that were amended (e.g. Schedule C) and to note the year for which you are amending a return. You have three years to claim any additional refund and you have one year to remit any additional taxes owed. Each year requires a separate Form 1040X to be filled out and mailed. Expect the IRS to take eight to 12 weeks to process your return.

Tips and Warnings

  • If you used tax preparation software to prepare the original return, use it to generate the corrected numbers for you. You will still need to fill out a Form 1040X and mail it to the IRS.

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