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20 Facts About Filing an Amended Prior Year Tax Return

Posted by on February 7, 2017
Last modified:
Need to file an amended tax return for your current or prior year taxes? Let PriorTax help you.

Did you take the wrong step with your tax return? Don’t be too hard on yourself.

Mistakes happen. If you filed your tax return with incorrect or missing information, the IRS will give you a chance to fix your mishap. Before insisting you 100% need to amend your return, though, take a look at our list of when you should, when you shouldn’t, and other need-to-know info about doing so.

What it is and where to file

1. Another name for an amended tax return is 1040X.

2. If you are amending multiple tax returns at once, you will need a prepared 1040X for each one. They will also need to be mailed in separate envelopes to the IRS.

3. You can prepare your amended tax return with PriorTax whether you filed your original return with us or a different tax preparer.

4. The address to mail your amended tax return is located here.

Fixing Information VS. Adding Additional Information

5. You don’t need to file an amended return for calculation mistakes. The IRS has calculators of their own which will update the information automatically on your return.

6. Typically, you’ll only need to file an amended return to update your filing status, income, deductions, credits, or if you forgot to include a part of your tax situation all together (ie: a dependent child).

7. If your amended tax return includes information from an additional form or schedule, you will need to attach that document to the return you mail to the IRS.

8. If you included W-2 or other schedule information on your original tax return but forgot to mail in copies of the forms, you do not need to amend your tax return. If the IRS needs them, they will contact you.

9. If you made a mistake on your amended tax return and already mailed it to the IRS, you can prepare another amended tax return. However, you should wait until the first amended return is processed before mailing the second.

Paper-file or E-file?

10. An amended tax return cannot be e-filed. It must be paper filed.

11. Although it must be paper filed, you can still prepare it online with PriorTax. You will just need to print, sign and mail it to the IRS.

Current tax years VS. Prior tax years

12. Generally speaking, the IRS allows you to file your amended tax return within three years from when you filed your original OR two years from when you paid off what you owed the IRS. This goes for prior years too.

13. With PriorTax, we’ll assist you in preparing your current year or prior year amended tax return.

Expecting a refund or tax due?

14. If you are filing an amended return and expecting a refund by doing so, you should hold off filing the amended return until you receive your original tax refund. You can cash your original refund check while waiting for the amended return to process.

15. If you file an amended tax return and accrue a tax amount due, penalties and interest can still build up. You should pay this balance as soon as possible as you would with your original tax return (Form 1040).

How to check the status of your amended tax return

16. The normal processing time for amended returns is up to 12 weeks.

17. You can check the status of your amended tax return three weeks after the IRS receives it.

18. To track your return online, you can use the IRS tool, “Where’s My Amended Return?”. You should know your social security number, date of birth and home zip code before using this.

19. You can also call 866-464-2050 to use the IRS automated tool by telephone. Have your social security number, date of birth and home zip code on hand before calling.

20. Amended tax returns can be tracked for the current year and up to three prior years. For further dated prior years, you can try contacting the IRS and speaking with a representative.

More questions about amending your tax return?

There you have it; answers to your questions about amending your tax return. If you are still confused, reach out to the PriorTax support team. We’ll help out in any way we can.

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8 Responses to “20 Facts About Filing an Amended Prior Year Tax Return”

  1. shaw hanavan says:

    I am now recalling that I still have my w2s fro. 2012 that may not have ever been filed. I am due a refund from that year, and I never received one. Is it too late to file and get my refund still?

    • admin says:

      Unfortunately, your statute of limitations for claiming a refund has expired. You were required to file your return within 3 years of the return due date. However, it is in your best interest to still file your 2012 return in order to avoid the IRS from filing a substitute return for you. This return might not give you credit for deductions and exemptions you may be entitled to receive and you could end up owing the IRS. You can visit to get started on your 2012 return.

  2. Ben Bartucci says:

    Very nice post. I certainly love this site. Thanks!|

  3. carmen Lind says:

    i need to do amended tax returns for years 2013, 2014, 2016

    • admin says:

      Priortax makes it easy to prepare your amended return. Feel free to contact a customer service representative at You can reach us via live chat (Mon – Fri between 2:00pm – 5:00pm EST) or by phone (1-877-289-7580) Mon – Fri between 10:00 am – 5:00 pm EST).

  4. J Sandoval says:

    Trying to help son who was still a FT student in Massachusetts in 2014. He is a musician, doing paid work outside of his FT school schedule. He filed a 1040EZ and did not understand how to submit taxes. He tried to claim tuition, which (5th year, doing Masters degree program) had already been used up in years previous (with 4yrs completing BM program)
    all educational deductions. He did not know how to or that he should have perhaps submitted a 1040 form and apply his professional deductions, and did not know whether there were any allowances applicable as a Full-Time student.

    His bank accounts were compromised due to his miscalculations and IRS put his accts in the negative to garnish what “they” have recalculated to be correct.

    Can he now go back and do an amended 1040x to rectify this judgement?….and how the heck do we start?

    As I see that he has gone past his 3 year time frame to receive any refund? whether he had one coming…?

  5. J Sandoval says:

    Additional concerns

    PS: RE: 2014 1040X
    My son, as an entertainer, had worked multiple jobs, was paid via 1099s, and W2s…

    I am trying to obtain this information, but there is no way we can approach former employers and payroll companies…

    -So do we have to request this from IRS? ..and do we have to pay one fee for multiple employers,
    or should we just go for the free report until we know how many forms we need?

    • Manisha Hansraj says:

      You may request a Wage and Income Transcript online or by mail from the IRS if you do not have access to any previous employers. You may click here to be forwarded to the IRS site to request copies of your 1099-MISC statements and W2s.

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