Many people realize that they have made errors on returns that have
already been mailed. If the errors are in arithmetic, the service
center will usually correct them.
If forms or schedules were left out, the service center will request
additional information from you. You need not file an amended return.
However, if you find that you did not report some income, you claimed
deductions or credits you should not have claimed, you failed to
claim some deductions or credits you are entitled to, or you should
have used a different filing status, you should file an amended
The form you use to correct the Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ you
already have filed is Form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax
Return. If you file Form 1040X to claim an additional refund, you
should wait until after you have received the refund from the
original return to avoid a possible delay in processing. If you OWE
additional tax for 1996, you should file Form 1040X and pay the tax
by April 15, 1997, to avoid penalty and interest.
Form 1040X is designed with three columns. Column A is used to show
original or adjusted figures from the original return.
Column C is used to show the correct figures. The difference between
the figures in Columns A and C is shown in Column B. There is an area
on the back of the form to explain the specific changes being made on
the return and the reason for each change. If the changes involve
another schedule or form, attach it to the 1040X. For example, if you
are filing a 1040X because you have a qualifying child and now want
to claim the Earned Income Credit, you must attach a Schedule E-I-C
to show the qualifying person's name and social security number. Be
sure to enter the year of the return you are amending.
Generally, to claim a refund, Form 1040X must be filed within 3 years
from the date you filed your original return or within 2 years from
the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
If you are filing more than one amended return, be sure to mail each
in a separate envelope to the service center for the area in which
you live. The instructions for completing Form 1040X list the
addresses for the service centers.
Your state tax liability may be affected by a change made on your
federal income tax return. For more information on how to correct
your state tax return, contact your state tax agency.
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