Why Your Amended Return is Not Showing: Common Reasons and Solutions

Apr 26, 2023

Filing taxes can be a daunting task, and mistakes happen even to the best of us. Luckily, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows taxpayers to amend their tax returns if they realize they made errors or omissions. An amended return is a corrected version of a previously filed tax return, which allows taxpayers to correct any errors, update their filing status, or claim missed deductions or credits. 

However, once you submit your amended return, you might notice that it needs to show up on the IRS system, which can be confusing and frustrating. In this article, we will discuss the common reasons why your amended return needs to show and provide practical solutions to help you tackle the issue. 

Whether you are a seasoned taxpayer or filing for the first time, keep reading to learn more about amended tax returns and how to ensure that the IRS correctly records your corrections. 

What is an Amended Return?

An amended tax return is a document taxpayers can file to correct errors or make changes to a previously filed tax return. The purpose of an amended return is to ensure that the taxpayer’s tax obligations are accurately reflected on their tax forms

There are several situations where a taxpayer should consider filing an amended return. For example, changes in marital status or the addition of a dependent may require a taxpayer to adjust their filing status. 

Additionally, income, deductions, and credits may need to be corrected if they were incorrectly reported on the original return. Failing to file an amended return when necessary can result in penalties or interest charges and may even lead to an IRS audit. 

Filing an Amended Return

If you need to make changes to a previously filed tax return, the process can be accomplished by filing an amended return. This requires you to fill out Form 1040-X, which is a document explicitly designed for individuals to make corrections to their tax returns. It’s important to keep in mind that an amended return cannot be filed electronically and must be filed on paper. 

When filing an amended return, you must explain the changes you’re requesting in detail. Regarding the timeline, you generally have three years from the original return filing date or two years from the date when the tax was paid, whichever is later. For example, if you filed your tax return on April 15, 2021, and paid your taxes on May 15, 2021, then you have until April 15, 2024, to file your amended return. 

It’s essential to make the necessary changes as soon as possible because delaying the process might result in additional expenses, penalties, and interest charges. Therefore, it’s essential to review your tax return thoroughly and make any necessary adjustments as soon as possible.

Common Reasons for Amended Returns Not Showing

When taxpayers file their annual tax returns and realize they made a mistake, they can choose to fix the errors by filing an amended tax return with the IRS. However, there are times when these amended returns need to show up, causing concerns and confusion among taxpayers. 

In this section, we’ll take a closer look at some of the common reasons why amended returns may not be showing up in the IRS system.

Processing Times

When filing an amended tax return, it is important to understand that the IRS may take up to 16 weeks to process it. This processing time can be lengthened due to various factors, such as high volumes of amended returns or IRS staffing issues. 

Processing Times


If multiple taxpayers file amended returns around the same time, it can lead to a backlog of returns that the IRS must work through, causing longer processing times for everyone. Alternatively, if the IRS is facing staffing issues, such as a need for more available employees to process returns, this can also delay the processing time. 

It is important to keep in mind that the processing time for an amended return can vary depending on the situation and workload of the IRS. However, taxpayers can check the status of their amended return using the ‘Where’s My Amended Return’ tool on the official IRS website.

Incorrect or Incomplete Information

Common examples of errors that can occur include incorrectly entering Social Security numbers or other identifying information, listing the incorrect tax year for the return, or omitting necessary schedules or forms. 

In these cases, the Internal Revenue Service may require additional information to verify and process the amended return, leading to further delays for the taxpayer. Additionally, complete or correct information may result in the taxpayer owing additional taxes, penalties, or interest, which can lead to further financial burdens. 

To avoid such complications, it is essential to take the time to double-check all information prior to submitting an amended return to the IRS. By ensuring that all details are accurate and complete, taxpayers can help to ensure a smooth and timely processing of their amended return.

Amended Return Not Yet Received

If you submitted an amended return to the IRS, but haven’t received any response yet, the agency hasn’t received it yet. This is particularly true if you mailed the return close to the deadline. It’s important to understand that the IRS processes a vast number of returns and documents each year. 

This means that there could be delays in processing and updating records. To ensure that your amended return is processed in a timely manner, it’s advisable to keep track of your paperwork and make sure you’ve included all the necessary documents. Moreover, keeping a copy of your amended return and all related documents for your records is a good idea. 

If it has been a few weeks since you filed your amended return and you still haven’t received any confirmation from the IRS, you may want to consider calling or sending a follow-up letter to check on its status. Remember that it’s always better to be proactive and ensure that your taxes are filed correctly and on time to avoid any penalties or interests.

Solutions for Amended Returns Not Showing

When taxpayers make a mistake on their tax returns, they can file an amended return to correct it. This is common as tax laws can be complex and confusing. However, taxpayers sometimes need help with trying to access their amended return after submission. 

In the following sections, we will explore some of the common reasons why amended returns may not show up, and provide solutions for resolving these issues. 

Check the Status Online

Taxpayers who have filed an amended tax return can use the “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool on the IRS website to track the status of their return. This tool is user-friendly and provides taxpayers with real-time updates on the progress of their amended return. 

To begin, taxpayers will need to visit the IRS website and click on the “Where’s My Amended Return?” tab. Once there, they will be prompted to enter their Social Security number, date of birth, zip code, and the year of their amended return. After submitting this information, taxpayers can expect to receive updates on the status of their return within 3 weeks. 

It’s important to note that the tool only provides information on the status of the amended return, not the status of the original return. Additionally, taxpayers can only use this tool to track amended returns that were filed electronically, not paper returns. 

Check the Status Online


Contact the IRS

If it has been more than 16 weeks since an amended return has been filed or the “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool provides an unclear status, it might be necessary to contact the IRS for more information. The IRS has various channels through which taxpayers can reach out to the agency, including phone numbers, email addresses, and mail addresses. The easiest way to contact the IRS is by calling their toll-free line at 1-800-829-1040. 

Before contacting the IRS, it is essential to have a copy of the original tax return and the amended return on hand. It is also important to have any supporting documents that might have been included with the amended return. This information will be useful for the IRS representative to determine the amended tax return’s status accurately. Taxpayers can also check the status of their amended tax return by using the “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool on the IRS website. 

This tool will help provide information on whether the amended return has been received if it is processing, or if it has been completed. If the tool fails to provide any updates or the status is unclear, it is recommended to contact the IRS customer service for more information. 

Review and Correct the Amended Return

It is crucial to review an amended tax return carefully before submitting it to avoid potential errors or missing information. One must ensure that all necessary tax forms and schedules are included in the amended return, such as Form 1040X, W-2s, and 1099s. Double-checking social security numbers, names, and dates of birth is equally essential. 

Please correct such errors to avoid further delays in processing and receiving a tax refund. Additionally, it is critical to check the tax year, as submitting the amendment for the wrong year can lead to confusion and potential penalties. Finally, before submitting the amended tax return, it is essential to review it thoroughly, making sure that all the necessary corrections have been made, and all forms have been filled out correctly. 

A comprehensive review can help prevent errors and omissions, ensuring that the IRS processes the return promptly and accurately.

Partner with UltimateTax for a Seamless Amended Return Experience

In conclusion, partnering with UltimateTax ensures a seamless amended return experience for tax professionals and their clients. The key takeaways from this article are that UltimateTax is an industry leader in tax preparation software, offers a comprehensive amended return solution, and provides exceptional customer support. 

UltimateTax for a Seamless Amended Return Experience

By utilizing UltimateTax’s software and services, tax professionals can streamline their workflows and deliver accurate, timely amended returns to their clients. In addition to these benefits, partnering with UltimateTax also allows tax professionals to stay current with IRS regulations and avoid costly errors. 

If you’re looking to enhance your tax practice and provide the best service to your clients, consider partnering with UltimateTax today. 

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