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If you’ve filed Form 1040-X to amend a prior year’s tax return, the IRS offers some online resources to help you track the status of your submission.
But don’t expect results right away. It can take up to three weeks before your case will show up in the IRS’s “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool. (The same time frame applies before calling the IRS to check on your Form 1040-X.)
Keep in mind that you could be tracking your files for a while before there’s any action. The IRS says it can take up to 20 weeks to process your amended return.
What will I need to track my amended return?
You’ll need to provide some basic information to confirm your identity before you can track your amended return.
When you log in or call, you should be prepared with the following details:
Your Social Security number or Individual Tax ID number.
Your date of birth.
Your ZIP code.
This information can help you look up any amended returns you have filed for taxes up to three years back. And note that the amended return lookup system is different from the IRS’s online “Where’s My Refund” service.
What’s the status of my amended return?
Once you’ve located your return, the IRS will give you a short description of its status. Here’s a brief description of the different results you might receive and what they mean.
Your amended return is received
If the IRS tells you it has received your return, the agency has it but has not yet completed its review. As a result, you may have to wait up to 20 weeks for processing to be complete.
Your amended return is adjusted
The “adjusted” designation means the IRS has reviewed your amended tax return and adjusted your account accordingly. This adjustment could result in “a refund, balance due or in no tax change,” the IRS says.
Your amended return is completed
When your amended return is completed, the IRS is finished with its review of the documents you’ve submitted. "You will receive all the information connected to its processing by mail,” the IRS says.
Why is my amended return taking so long?
Sometimes, an issue with your return can slow down the process through which the IRS will review your amended return. This could mean the process takes longer than 20 weeks.
Here are a few possible factors that can cause delays, according to the IRS:
Your amended return has mistakes, is incomplete, or hasn’t been signed.
The IRS may have sent your return back to you, asking for more information.
Your amended return includes Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation.
There’s an issue with identity theft or fraud related to your amended return.
The IRS says other issues can slow your return. For instance, if it needs review by a specialized area of the IRS, such as the bankruptcy section, that can take longer than 20 weeks. The agency will contact you if it requires more information.
Broadly speaking, processing has been slower than usual over the past several years. Standard processing used to take 16 rather than 20 weeks. The IRS will probably still be clearing backlogs of filings, including amended returns, as the 2022 tax filing season ramps up, according to the U.S. Treasury Department.
What if I can’t find my amended return using the IRS tool?
A handful of reasons could prevent you from being able to look up your status on the “Where’s My Amended Return?” tool. Here are some possible explanations, according to the IRS.
Your amended return is for business taxes.
Your amended return involves carryback applications and claims.
Your amended return has a foreign address.