Tax refunds from amended returns take a lot longer to process than you may be accustomed to. When you file a regular return, the Internal Revenue Service usually only takes one to three weeks to process it, depending on whether you file by mail or electronically. Amended returns can take several weeks, or even a couple of months or longer. With the extended processing time for amendments, many taxpayers get curious about the status of any expected refunds.
Questions about the money coming to you can be answered with a phone call to the IRS or through the IRS's "Where's My Amended Return" website. The IRS advises you not to contact the agency until it's been at least three weeks since you filed the amended return.
Amended Tax Return Status Check
If you make a mistake on your tax return and need to correct it after the tax filing date for that year, you must file an amended return. You can do so with IRS Form 1040X, which must be filed on paper, even if your original return was filed online. It can take weeks or months to process, even if you're due an additional refund.
You can check in with the IRS to see how the return is being processed and your amended refund status if you're due one. Check the date you filed your amended return. The Internal Revenue Service can take up to 16 weeks to process amended returns. Wait at least 3 weeks after you file to check on the status of your refund.
You can call the the IRS at 800-829-1040 or use an online tool.
If you call, listen to the prompts and select the number that indicates your question can’t be addressed through other voice prompts. If you select the “Refund” prompt from the voice menu, you’ll be taken to an automated menu that gives the same information available through the online refund status menu. Since amended return information isn’t available online, you won’t be able to get the information you need from the selection. Your call will be routed to a live agent.
Tell the agent you need the status of your refund from an amended return. The agent will confirm that you filed Form 1040X and ask for the date you mailed it. The agent will also verify your identity by Social Security number, birth date and filing status. Once your identity is confirmed, the agent will let you know if your return has been received and the status of its processing. If the return has been processed, the agent can give you a date when the IRS expects to send your check.
The IRS does not send refunds from amended returns by direct deposit – you will receive a paper check at the address provided on Form 1040X.
Checking the Status Online
You can also check the status of your return online using the "Where's My Amended Return?" tool. You will need your Social Security number, date of birth and Zip code to do so.
Don't use the regular IRS refund status checker for an amended return.
2018 Tax Law Changes
There are no major changes to the amended return procedures for 2018, but remember to amend any returns using the laws pertaining the tax year whose return you're amending. You can't use 2018 tax rules for 2017, even if you amend your return later on.
With a background in taxation and financial consulting, Alia Nikolakopulos has over a decade of experience resolving tax and finance issues. She is an IRS Enrolled Agent and has been a writer for these topics since 2010. Nikolakopulos is pursuing Bachelor of Science in accounting at the Metropolitan State University of Denver.