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How and When to File a Tax Return Amendment


Taxes are no cup of tea in their simplest form, and the mistakes that complicate your return make taxes even less appealing. As luck would have it, I received an email from payroll the day after filing my tax return letting me know there was a mistake on my original W-2. The type of error means I have to file an amendment to my 2008 tax return. You too? Check out the details for filing an amendment below.

  • You're required to submit an amendment if you have to correct your filing status, tax credits or deductions, dependents, or total income.
  • If you claimed the original homebuyer credit that included a $7,500 allowance that had to eventually be repaid, you can amend your return to instead claim the $8,000 credit that doesn't have to be repaid.
  • Use Form 1040X to file your amended return. It must be printed out and mailed to the IRS; you can't file the amendment electronically.
  • Be aware that the corrections you submit may cause you to owe taxes.

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