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I made a mistake on my federal return already filed. What should I do?

Tax_questionQ)  I made a mistake on my federal return already filed. What should I do?

A)  According to the IRS: It depends on the type of mistake that you made:

  • Many mathematical errors are caught in the processing of the tax return itself so you may not need to correct these mistakes.
  • If you did not attach a required schedule, the IRS will contact you and ask for the missing information.
  • If you did not report all of your income or did not claim a credit, you should file an amended or corrected return using Form 1040X(PDF), Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

When filing an amended or corrected return:

  • Include copies of any schedules that have been changed or any Form(s) W-2 (PDF) you did not include. File 1040X only after you have filed your original return. Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you timely filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later.
  • Please allow the IRS 8-12 weeks to process an amended return.

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153 Responses to Click to Tell Us Your Experience At Your Local Tax Office

  1. Because the IRS processes the first return it receives, if another person claims your dependent first, the IRS will reject your return. The IRS won’t tell you who claimed your dependent. But if you don’t suspect anyone who could have claimed the dependent, your dependent may be a victim of tax identity theft. You’ll need to take some steps to protect your right to claim the dependent and your refund if you don’t think that the other person was eligible to claim your dependent. First, double check that you meet all of the requirements to claim the dependent.

    The IRS may delay your refund while the IRS looks into the issue, but you should still receive your refund. File a paper return. Note that when you file a paper return, it can take six to eight weeks for the IRS to process. This includes things like birth certificates and proof of identity, but also documents that show that your dependent lived with you at the same address for more than half of the year. This doesn’t mean that you can’t correct the situation. Don’t panic. The most important thing to remember is to prove with proper documentation that you are entitled to claim the dependent. Document your case as the IRS rules for claiming a dependent can get complicated.

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