If I Made a Mistake on My Tax Return, Will the IRS Notify Me?

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) may notify you of a mistake on your tax return through an audit or an examination. An audit is a review of your tax return to ensure that the information you provided is accurate and that you have paid the correct amount of taxes. An examination is a more in-depth review of your tax return that may involve requesting additional documentation from you.

If the IRS discovers a mistake on your tax return, you will receive a notice from the agency explaining the error and the amount of additional taxes that you owe. You will have the opportunity to appeal the IRS’s findings and provide documentation to support your position.

How to Correct a Mistake on Your Tax Return

If you discover a mistake on your tax return after you have filed it, you can correct the error by filing an amended return. An amended return is a new tax return that you file to make changes to your original return. You can file an amended return for any tax year for which the statute of limitations has not expired.

To file an amended return, you will need to use Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. You can download Form 1040-X from the IRS website or you can order a copy by calling the IRS at 1-800-829-3676.

When you file an amended return, you will need to include the following information:

  • Your name, address, and Social Security number
  • The tax year for which you are filing the amended return
  • The changes that you are making to your original return
  • The reason for the changes

Penalties for Filing an Incorrect Tax Return

If you file an incorrect tax return, you may be subject to penalties. The penalties for filing an incorrect tax return vary depending on the nature of the error.

If you made a mistake on your tax return that resulted in you paying less taxes than you owed, you may be subject to a penalty of up to 20% of the additional taxes that you owe.

If you made a mistake on your tax return that resulted in you receiving a refund that you were not entitled to, you may be subject to a penalty of up to 50% of the refund amount.

Avoiding Mistakes on Your Tax Return

There are a few things that you can do to avoid making mistakes on your tax return:

  • Use tax software. Tax software can help you to calculate your taxes accurately and to avoid making common mistakes.
  • Review your return carefully before you file it. Make sure that all of the information on your return is correct and that you have signed and dated the return.
  • File your return on time. Filing your return on time will help you to avoid penalties and interest charges.

If you have any questions about how to correct a mistake on your tax return, you can contact the IRS at 1-800-829-3676.

Additional Resources

What To Do If Your Tax Return Is Rejected By the IRS – TurboTax Tax Tip Video


What happens if you unknowingly make a mistake on your taxes?

The IRS Finds Your Mistake The IRS might notice your mistake and send you a notice to correct your return. If this happens to you, don’t worry. Just complete the appropriate tax form by the deadline written on your notice.

Will the IRS notify me of an error?

Taxpayers usually do not need to file an amended return to fix a math error or if they forgot to attach a form or schedule. The IRS will correct the math error while processing the tax return and notify the taxpayer by mail. The agency will send a letter requesting any missing forms or schedules.

Will the IRS contact me if something is wrong with my tax return?

If it audits your return, the IRS will notify you by mail, and the notice will tell you if the audit will be handled by mail or in person. For more information, see Audits by Mail or Audits in Person.

Does the IRS care about small mistakes?

While simple math errors don’t usually trigger a full-blown examination by the IRS, they will garner extra scrutiny and slow down the completion of your return. So can entering your Social Security number wrong, transposing the numbers on your address and other boneheaded blunders.

What happens if the IRS makes a mistake on your tax return?

Generally, you can file a claim for a credit or refund within three years of the date you filed your original return. Every year, millions of Americans spend money to have their taxes done to avoid mistakes, but what happens when the IRS makes an error? Here’s what to do.

What if the IRS doesn’t correct a mistake?

If IRS doesn’t correct your mistake or if it’s a huge mistake or if you forgot to report something important (like being married), you’ll want to fix your own mistakes. You’ll do this by amending your previously filed tax return with a federal form 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return (downloads as a pdf).

What if I have a big tax mistake?

The IRS says that most returns are processed within 21 days. If your error means you actually owe more to the IRS, the process can be a little more complicated. But for most people, it’s still manageable. Read on for what to do if you have a bigger tax mistake to solve.

How do I fix a mistake on my tax return?

You have many options on how to fix a mistake on your tax return depending on whether you received a notice and the kind of mistake you made. What do I need to know? What do I need to know? If you realize there was a mistake on your return, you can amend it using Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

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