How far back can you amend tax returns?

Written by denise caldwell
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How far back can you amend tax returns?
Amend errors as soon as possible to avoid losing your refund. (tax forms image by Chad McDermott from

Taxpayers file amended returns in order to make changes to previously filed income tax returns. In most instances, the changes are made to correct errors in calculating credits and deductions, or to make adjustments to dependents or a taxpayer's filing status.

Statute of Limitations

You can file an amended return at any time, however you only have three years from the date of your original return or two years from the date you paid the tax--whichever is later--to file and receive a refund.


The IRS considers returns filed before the April 15 due date to have been filed on April 15th for the purpose of statute of limitations.


In order to file an amended return, complete IRS Form 1040X and mail it to the IRS servicing centre in your area. You can download the form at the IRS's website or have the form mailed to you. Allow 8 to 12 weeks for the processing of your amended return.

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