You’ve filed your taxes. Great job! But then you realized you had made a mistake on your return. How do you go about correcting paperwork with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)? Don’t worry. It’s not as complicated as you might think.


First off, if the mistake is something as simple as a miscalculation or you forgot to attach specific forms, the IRS will correct the math errors and typically send requests for the missing forms. In cases like this, there’s no need to submit an amended tax return.


If the mistake is a change in your income, filing status, or a missed deduction or credit, it’s worth filing an amendment, and very important to do so. You’ll need to file Form 1040X: Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Form 1040X must be filed on paper; the IRS does not accept amendments via e-file. If the IRS requested an amended tax return, the address of where to send the amended return will be on the letter they sent you. Otherwise, be sure to find the correct mailing address for filing your amended return according to the state where you live. If the changes you’re making require additional forms or schedules, make sure you include them. You can amend more than one tax return at a time — just prepare a 1040X form for each one and mail them separately.


You have three years since the original date of filing your taxes to send in an amended tax return, or two years from paying the taxes for that year, whichever is later. If your amended return results in more refund money, go ahead and cash your original refund check — there’s no need to wait the 12 weeks (on average) it takes to process your amended return. If your amended return is approved, you’ll get a check for the difference. However, if your new return shows that you owe money, it’s better to pay those taxes as soon as you can to avoid unnecessary fees and interest.


Three weeks after you’ve filed your amended tax return, you can check its status with the IRS’ Where’s My Amended Return? tool or by calling 866-464-2050.


If you’re uncertain about whether you need to file an amended tax return or how to do so, don’t hesitate to visit a conveniently located Liberty Tax® office near you. You can also call 866-871-1040 to find your closest Liberty Tax® office.


For more information on all things taxes, contact Liberty Tax® directly at 1-877-at-Liberty. For real-time updates, follow Liberty Tax® on Facebook and Twitter.