How to Refile Taxes for Previous Years

New information may mean refiling your tax return.

New information may mean refiling your tax return.

You discover you made an error on your tax return, or maybe you've received a 1099 form that got lost in the mail (and that you'd forgotten to include when filing your taxes). If this occurs for a tax return filed within the past three years, refile your tax return using the IRS' 1040X form.

Download and print, from the IRS website, a copy of Form 1040X. Print multiple copies if you will be amending multiple years. If you do not have a computer, contact the IRS to mail you the paperwork you need. Use Form 1040X to amend previously filed Forms 1040, 1040EZ or 1040Z.

Mark the box for the tax year that is being amended. Enter the information originally filed in Column A. Use Column C for the new information. Calculate the difference and enter in Column B. Enter all information using a pen, because amended returns must be mailed to the IRS -- they cannot be e-filed.

Complete the back of Form 1040X with the reason you are refiling your return. Complete additional forms or schedules if required because of the change. Make a copy of all paperwork for your records.

Mail all paperwork, including documentation supporting the change, to the IRS at the address listed on the form. Use a separate envelope for each year if amending more than one year. Include payment if you owe money.


  • Check your state tax return and state laws because you may also need to refile to your state.

Video of the Day

Brought to you by Sapling
Brought to you by Sapling

About the Author

Diane Stevens' professional experience started in 1970 with a computer programming position. Beginning in 1985, running her own business gave her extensive experience in personal and business finance. Her writing appears on Orbitz's Travel Blog and other websites. Stevens holds a Bachelor of Science in physics from the State University of New York at Albany.

Photo Credits

  • Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images