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How to Get Your Cash Back If You've Overpaid the IRS

Every year, more than 2 million taxpayers overpay their income taxes—and we’re not talking about pocket change. The latest figures show these taxpayers are overpaying by a total of $1 billion—an average of almost $440 each!

If you are one of the millions of Americans paying more taxes than you should, we’ve got good news! You can reclaim your cash by filing an amended tax return.

An amended return is simply a correction to a previously filed tax return. It allows you to get back any money you overpaid through missed deductions or incorrect calculations on a previously filed tax return.

Mistakes like those happen more often than you might think. Of the 2 million Americans who overpay their taxes, more than 60% of them are homeowners who took the standard deduction instead of claiming the deductions for their mortgage interest, real estate taxes and local income taxes. Another 27% overpaid because they didn’t claim their deduction for charitable giving.

Not sure what you’ll need to have in hand to file your taxes? Download your free tax preparation checklist.

How to Amend a Tax Return

Filing an amended return is different from filling out your ordinary tax return. Instead of refiling the whole return, you use Form 1040X. Mark the tax year you’re correcting and explain the reason for the amendment. Then calculate the change—whether you’re owed an additional refund or you owe additional taxes.

Taxes shouldn't be this complicated. Let us help.

Keep these facts in mind if you plan to file an amended tax return:

  • Generally, you must amend your return within three years of the original filing date, so the oldest return you can amend this year is your 2013 tax return.
  • If you’re claiming an additional refund, wait until you receive your original refund to file your amended return.
  • You cannot file an amended return electronically.
  • Allow eight to twelve weeks to process your amended return.

A Pro Can Help You Reclaim Your Cash

If you suspect you’ve overpaid your income taxes in past years, a tax professional can help you discover and correct your mistakes while making sure you don’t overpay again this year. 

Laura Wagner from Vega, TX, consulted one of Dave’s tax Endorsed Local Providers (ELPs) when her son’s tax bill came to $4,000. The ELP saved her son $3,937 and, as a bonus, saved Laura $1,800 on her taxes too!

Steve Moore, a small-business owner in Middle Point, OH, had already completed his taxes but decided to consult his ELP before he filed his return.

“Wow! Am I glad!” he said. “He saved me about $3,000 more than what I was going to file!”

Don’t Wait to Find Your Tax Pro

Like Lara and Steve, you can find an ELP you can trust to make sure you don’t overpay your taxes. Don’t wait for tax-season crunch time. Get in touch with your tax ELP today!

Ramsey Solutions

About the author

Ramsey Solutions

Ramsey Solutions has been committed to helping people regain control of their money, build wealth, grow their leadership skills, and enhance their lives through personal development since 1992. Millions of people have used our financial advice through 22 books (including 12 national bestsellers) published by Ramsey Press, as well as two syndicated radio shows and 10 podcasts, which have over 17 million weekly listeners.

Tax Pro or File Your Own?

Take the Quiz

Tax Pro or File Your Own?

Use this free quiz to help you decide which tax filing method is right for you.
Take the Quiz

Tax Pro or File Your Own?

Use this free quiz to help you decide which tax filing method is right for you.
Take the Quiz