What should I do if I discover that I’ve made a mistake after I’ve already filed?
Whether you need to do anything if you discover you’ve made an error depends on what kind of mistake you’ve made. If it’s a simple math error, chances are that the IRS will catch it and fix it for you. If you left something out (for example, a schedule that you didn’t attach), you’ll likely get a letter from the IRS asking you for more information. But if the mistake is a big one - you didn’t report all of your income, for example, you’ll want to file an amended return. You file an amended return using a federal form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, after you’ve already filed your federal form 1040 (or 1040-EZ). Pay attention to dates: timing matters when it comes to amended returns. Generally, if you are hoping for a refund, you’ll need to file within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you filed the original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the original tax, whichever is later.
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