Can I File an Amended Return After an Audit?

The IRS conducts different types of tax audits depending on the information and records that it wants to examine. Most commonly, the agency will conduct either a correspondence audit or a more detailed field audit. During an audit, a taxpayer might discover new information that he or she wants to correct with an amended tax return. An amended return can be filed after an audit is completed or at any time within the required time period.

Common Reasons to Amend

An amended return is usually used to update filing status, adjust income or add credits and deductions. According to the IRS, however, it is not necessary to amend a return to correct a calculation error or to include additional tax forms and schedules. The IRS automatically adjusts a tax amount as a result of any math errors that it finds on a return. The agency will typically send a letter to the taxpayer to notify him of any adjustments.

How to Submit an Amended Return

To amend a tax return, you must fill out and mail Form 1040X, "Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return," to the IRS office listed on your original return. It must be accompanied by a new Form 1040 as well. All documents are required to be in paper. The IRS will not accept amended returns that are filed electronically.

Deadline to File an Amended Return

A taxpayer is allowed to file an amended return at any time within the applicable statute of limitations. When claiming an additional tax credit or refund, you can amend no later than three years after the date you filed the original return or two years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. You can, however, request that the IRS grant an extension to the statute of limitations.

After the Amended Return is Filed

The amended return will not affect the results of the audit, which is based on the original tax return. At times, an amended return will be selected for an audit and will subject the taxpayer to two audits in one tax year. Additionally, you have the option of requesting an audit reconsideration when there is new information that would have changed the assessment of the return.

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About the Author

Lisa M. Bieniek holds a J.D. from American University Washington College of Law. She is a licensed attorney in Massachusetts, as well as a writer. Bieniek is also completing a Master of Laws degree in international and European law.

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