How to Cancel an Accepted Tax Return

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There’s no way to cancel an accepted tax return. Here’s what to do if you made a mistake.

Why can’t you cancel an accepted tax return?

The IRS doesn’t allow you to cancel an accepted tax return. Once your tax return is accepted, it’s in the IRS system.

You also can’t file a tax return that you e-filed but hasn’t been accepted. There’s no way to reverse it.

What to Do if You Need to Cancel Your Tax Return

If you made a mistake on your tax return, instead of cancelling it, you need to file an amended tax return.

An amended return is a corrected tax return. When you file an amended return, the IRS updates the tax you owe for that year.

An amended return doesn’t exactly replace your original tax return since both remain in the IRS system, but it’s basically the same thing.

Never file a second tax return that isn’t an amended return. If you try to file a second tax return online, the IRS will reject it automatically. The IRS will usually also reject a second paper-filed return and tell you you already filed.

If You Owe More

If you figure out that you owe more taxes after you file, amend your tax return as soon as possible.

If you pay the additional tax before your original tax filing deadline, you won’t owe penalties or interest. If it’s after your filing deadline, the sooner you pay, the less you’ll owe in penalties and interest.

Make sure you mark your payment as for Form 1040-X or an amended return. If you don’t the IRS might think you overpaid on your original tax return and automatically issue you a refund. You’ll still owe the money and penalties will apply until you pay again.

If You’re Getting a Bigger Refund

If you’re getting a bigger refund, you’ll also want to file an amended tax return as soon as possible to get your refund faster.

The IRS can take 8 to 16 weeks to process amended returns. It usually takes another 2 to 4 weeks to get your refund after that.

You’ll usually get your original refund amount and then a second refund from your amended return later.

In rare situations, the IRS might flag your tax return and hold your refund. So if you’re really worried, you might want to wait for your first refund before amending for a bigger refund.

You usually have three years from the original due date to amend your tax return.

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