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Correcting Mistakes on Previous Year’s Tax Returns: A Guide


Filing taxes can be a daunting task, and even the most diligent taxpayers may find themselves making mistakes on their returns. Fortunately, correcting errors on previous year’s tax returns is possible, provided you follow the correct procedures. In this blog post, we’ll explore the steps involved in correcting mistakes on previous year’s tax returns, helping you navigate the process with ease.

Identifying Mistakes

The first step in correcting mistakes on a previous year’s tax return is identifying the errors. Common mistakes include mathematical errors, omitted income or deductions, incorrect filing status, and inaccurate personal information.Best Tax accountant in Uxbridge Reviewing your tax documents and comparing them to your records can help pinpoint any discrepancies.

Amending Your Tax Return

Once you’ve identified the mistakes, the next step is to file an amended tax return using Form 1040X for individual tax returns or the appropriate form for business or estate taxes. The Form 1040X allows you to correct errors on your original return and provide explanations for the changes made.

Gathering Documentation

Before amending your tax return, ensure you have all the necessary documentation to support the changes you’re making. This may include additional income statements, receipts for deductions, or other relevant documents. Having thorough documentation will help substantiate the corrections you’re making.

Calculating Adjustments

When amending your tax return, you’ll need to recalculate your tax liability based on the corrected information. This may result in changes to your tax owed or refund due. Utilize the appropriate worksheets or tax calculators to ensure accuracy in your recalculations.

Submitting the Amended Return

Once you’ve completed Form 1040X and made the necessary corrections, you can submit the amended return to the IRS. Be sure to include any additional documentation and explanations for the changes made. Amended returns cannot be filed electronically and must be mailed to the IRS address specified in the instructions.

Waiting for Processing

After submitting your amended return, it may take some time for the IRS to process it. Typically, amended returns are processed manually and may take several weeks or months to be reviewed. You can track the status of your amended return using the “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool on the IRS website.

Understanding Potential Consequences

It’s important to understand that amending your tax return may have consequences, depending on the nature of the errors and the changes made. While correcting mistakes can prevent potential penalties or audits, it could also result in additional taxes owed or changes to your refund amount.

The Amended Return: Form 1040-X

When to File: 

You should file an amended return as soon as you discover the mistake. The IRS allows you to amend returns for up to three years from the original filing date or within two years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. This period is known as the statute of limitations for amendments. To correct mistakes, you will need to file Form 1040-X, “Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.” This form allows you to correct previously filed Form 1040, 1040-A, 1040-EZ, 1040-NR, or 1040-NR-EZ. Form 1040-X is used to correct errors and provide additional information not originally reported.

Steps to Filing an Amended Return

Step 1: Gather Documentation: 

Collect all necessary documentation related to the mistake. This includes your original tax return, W-2s, 1099s, and any other relevant financial documents. Having these documents on hand will help you accurately complete Form 1040-X.

Step 2: Complete Form 1040-X: 

Fill out Form 1040-X, which consists of three columns: Column A shows the original figures, Column B shows the net change, and Column C shows the corrected figures. You will need to provide an explanation for the changes in Part III of the form. Be clear and concise in your explanation.

Step 3: Attach Supporting Documents: 

Attach any necessary supporting documents to your Form 1040-X. This could include corrected W-2s, 1099s, or additional schedules that support the changes you are making. Do not attach the original return.

Step 4: Submit the Amended Return: 

Mail the completed Form 1040-X and supporting documents to the appropriate IRS address. The address can vary depending on your location and the type of return being amended, so check the instructions for Form 1040-X for the correct address. Currently, the IRS does not accept electronically filed amended returns for all types of returns, so paper filing is often required.

After Filing an Amended Return

The IRS typically takes 8 to 12 weeks to process an amended return, but it can take longer during peak tax season or if additional information is needed. You can check the status of your amended return using the “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool on the IRS website.

Possible Outcomes: 

After reviewing your amended return, the IRS will either accept the changes, propose adjustments, or request additional information. If your amendment results in a higher tax liability, you will owe the additional amount plus any applicable interest and penalties. If it results in a refund, you will receive the additional amount due to you. Keep copies of your amended return, supporting documents, and any correspondence with the IRS. These records are important in case of future audits or discrepancies.

Avoiding Future Mistakes

Always review your tax return carefully before filing. Double-check figures, ensure all necessary forms are included, and verify your personal information. Consider hiring a tax professional to prepare or review your return, especially if your tax situation is complex. Professionals can help identify potential errors and ensure your return is accurate. Tax preparation software can help minimize errors by guiding you through the process and performing calculations automatically.




Correcting mistakes on a previous year’s tax return is a necessary process to ensure compliance with IRS regulations and maintain accurate financial records. By identifying errors, amending your tax return, and providing thorough documentation, you can rectify mistakes and mitigate potential consequences. Remember to follow the proper procedures outlined by the IRS and seek professional assistance if needed. Taking proactive steps to correct mistakes will help you maintain confidence in your tax filings and financial affairs.