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. Here we will take a look at what happens after you amend your tax return.
How Long Does It Take Amended Returns to Process?
The IRS processes amended returns in the order they are received. Because of the backlog of unprocessed returns, this could mean waiting longer than usual processing times. According to the IRS website, your amended tax return can take up to 3 weeks after you mail it to show up in the IRS system. From there, it can take more than 20 weeks, instead of up to 16 weeks, to process amended returns. 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. You can also call the toll-free telephone number 866-464-2050. These tools should not be utilized until three weeks after filing the return since that is when status updates may become available.
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.
Your amended return was received and is being processed by the IRS. It currently takes more than 20 weeks to complete processing.
An adjustment was made to your IRS account. The adjustment will result in a refund, balance owed or in no tax change. Payments can be made by mail, online, or through the IRS Direct Pay system.
Your amended return has been processed by the IRS. 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 20-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. If you need tax help, call Optima at 800-536-0734 for a free consultation.