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I Amended My Tax Return – Now What?

i amended my tax return now what

If all goes well during tax season, you file your tax return, get a decent tax refund and wait to do it all again next year. But what happens if you file a return but then notice an error? Do you let it be or file an amended return? If there are simple math errors, the IRS should be able to correct those on their own. However, if you noticed you made an error in your filing status, income, dependents, or credits, you should amend your return through Form 1040-X.

This guide will walk you through what happens when you amend your tax return, detailing each step and what you can expect throughout the process. 

How to Amend Your Tax Return 

When you amend your tax return, you submit Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to the IRS. Typically, you’d file an amended return to correct major mistakes in income, adjust tax credits and deductions, change your filing status, or update your personal information. You may attach any new or corrected forms and schedules if necessary.  

How Long Does It Take Amended Returns to Process? 

Amended returns take longer to process than original returns due to the detailed review required by the IRS. In addition, the IRS processes amended returns in the order they receive them. According to the IRS website, you should typically allow 8-12 weeks for it to be processed. However, it can take up to 16 weeks. You should not attempt to file a second tax return or call the IRS during this wait period.  

You can use the Where’s My Amended Return? (WMAR) IRS online tool to check the status of your return and confirm the IRS has received it. However, this tool will only show amended return statuses for this tax year or up to 3 prior years. You can use this tool almost 24 hours a day. These tools should not be utilized until three weeks after filing the return. This is when status updates may become available. You can also call the IRS for an update. However, phone calls should be reserved for when the WMAR is not available or when it prompts you to call the IRS.  

How to Use the Where’s My Amended Return? Tool 

To check the status of your amended tax return, you’ll need your social security number, date of birth, and zip code that is currently on file with the IRS. Once you proceed, you will see one of the following statuses of your return. 

Status: Received 

The IRS received your amended return and they are processing it. It currently takes up to 16 weeks to complete processing. 

Status: Adjusted 

An adjustment was made to your IRS account. The adjustment will result in a refund, balance owed or in no tax change. You can make a payment via mail, online, or through the IRS Direct Pay system. 

Status: Completed 

The IRS finished processing your return. You will receive all the information connected to its processing by mail.

Why Hasn’t My Amended Return Been Processed Yet? 

In some cases, the IRS still may not have processed your amended return, even after the 16-week timeline. This can happen for several reasons including:  

  • It has errors 
  • It is incomplete 
  • It is not signed 
  • It is returned to you requesting more information 
  • It includes a Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation 
  • It is affected by identity theft or fraud 
  • It is routing to a specialized area 
  • It requires clearance by the bankruptcy area within the IRS 
  • It needs to be reviewed and approved by a revenue officer 
  • It needs a review of an appeal or a requested reconsideration of an IRS decision 

In any case, the IRS will contact you if it needs more information to get your amended return processed. 

Tax Help for Those Who Amended a Return 

You should always ensure that you are filing a complete and accurate tax return so you can avoid filing an amended return. Sometimes amending a return could potentially trigger an audit or other examination by the IRS. If you find that you cannot avoid amending your tax return, make sure to follow the correct steps, provide all necessary information, and be patient while waiting for the IRS to process your return. When in doubt, you can also contact a qualified tax professional for assistance. Optima Tax Relief has a team of dedicated and experienced tax professionals with proven track records of success.  

If You Need Tax Help, Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation