By now, the April 15th filing deadline is just a distant memory. Your taxes have been filed, paid or you have received a refund from the IRS. But wait – you just discovered you made a mistake on your tax return. What should you do now?
Depending on the type of mistake you made, the answer to that question will be different.
According to the IRS, if you made any mathematical errors, they will be caught in the processing of your tax return. If you left off a required schedule that should have been attached, the IRS will contact you (via postal mail) and request the missing information from you. If however, you realized you did not report all of your income, you neglected to claim a credit you were entitled to, etc., you will need to file an amended federal return, otherwise known as a Form 1040X.
When you file the 1040X, be sure to include any schedules you may have changed, or any W-2s you did not include with the original return. To claim a refund, the IRS gives you three years after the date of the original return filed, or within two years of the date you paid the taxes owed, whichever is later. Take note, processing of 1040X forms takes 8 to 12 weeks – longer than the processing time of the 1040.
Detailed instructions for the Form 1040X are available on the IRS website.