If your original income tax return was filed with errors, don’t fret; two IRS methods enable you to correct tax return errors.

  1. A superseding return; or
  2. A qualified amended return.

A superseding return is an amended or corrected return filed on or before the original or extended due date. The IRS considers the changes on a superseding return to be part of your original tax return.

A qualified amended return is an amended return that you file after the due date of the return (including extensions) and before the earliest of several events, but most likely when the IRS contacts you with respect to an examination of the return. If you file a qualified amended tax return, you avoid the 20% accuracy-related penalty for that error.

When it comes to the IRS, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. If you made an error, correct it as soon as you know, which will save you penalties, increased interest accruals, and the headache of an IRS review of your return.