Did you forget to include income on your tax return or perhaps missed some deductions? If so, you can correct your return by sending an amended return to the IRS. When you amend a return, you're sending a revised return to the IRS.

While the IRS generally will automatically correct your return if you've made calculation errors, some of the most common reasons for filing an amended return are if you have any additions, corrections or changes to the following:

  • Your filing status (if you filed married filing separately, you can amend your return to married filing jointly, however you cannot switch from filing jointly to filing separately once the due date for filing the return has expired)
  • Your dependents
  • Your income
  • Your deductions or credits (such as the first-time homebuyer credit)

To correct a previously filed return, you will need to mail in a Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. If your changes involve other schedules or forms, be sure to attach them to your Form 1040X.

To claim a refund, you must file a Form 1040X within three years of the tax filing due date for the tax year being corrected (for example, a tax year 2008 return has a tax filing due date of April 15, 2009, therefore a claim for refund must be filed by April 15, 2012) or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.

Filing an amended return doesn't increase the likelihood of your return being audited; however the IRS will be looking at your return a second time. To make sure that your amended return is done correctly, you may want to consult with a tax professional.

For more information and resources on amending a tax return, please see:

Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.