How to File an Amended Tax Return with TurboTax

TurboTax guides you through the amendment process.
Image Credit: Photodisc/Photodisc/Getty Images

TurboTax provides you the ability to amend a filed and accepted tax return for the current or previous years. You must use the version of TurboTax for the tax year of the return you want to amend, as the software changes each year. By following the program's instructions, you can generate and print an amended return, Internal Revenue Service Form 1040X.


Preliminary Steps

Generally, you can file Form 1040X within three years of the original tax return filing or within two years of the date on which you paid the tax, whichever is later. You can't amend a return until the Internal Revenue Service accepts it. If the IRS rejects your current year return, you can simply correct and refile it; you don't use Form 1040X in this situation. You should create a backup copy of the TurboTax file containing the return before entering any changes. You can make a copy from inside the program: Open the program, allow it to accept any software updates, and then make a backup.


Video of the Day

Update the Information

Click on the "Federal Taxes" tab and select "Amend a Return." Press "Start" and begin answering the questions posed by TurboTax. The program uses your responses to figure out which information you want to amend and elicits the new data. You also need to enter explanations for the changes. After you finish entering the corrected or omitted data, the program will perform a validity check and have you fix any problems or inconsistencies it discovers. The software will inform you if you owe additional tax or if you are due a refund.


File the Amendment

When satisfied with the changes, save the file and print two copies of Form 1040X along with any other required forms or schedules. Keep one copy for your files and mail the other copy to the address provided by the program. Include a check for any additional tax you owe. You can't file Form 1040X electronically, even if that is the way you filed the original return. The IRS provides an online "Where's My Amended Return?" tracking tool you can use three weeks after mailing the amended return. It may take 12 to 16 weeks for the IRS to process the amendment.


To Amend or not to Amend

You don't have to amend a return simply because of math errors; the IRS catches and corrects these. The usual reasons to amend a return include reporting additional income, correcting previously entered information, revising the number of dependents, claiming additional deductions or tax credits and revising your filing status, such as changing from single to head of household. It is conceivable, although highly unlikely, that the makers of TurboTax will instruct you to amend your return because of an error in the software.