Why Can’t the IRS Provide Any Information on My Amended Return?

Why Can’t the IRS Provide Any Information on My Amended Return?


Submitting an amended tax return can be a stressful process for any taxpayer, but it becomes even more frustrating when the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) fails to provide any information on its current status. Unfortunately, multiple factors contribute to the bureau’s inability to provide updates on amended returns and make the process even more challenging for taxpayers. This article will examine some of the reasons why the IRS cannot provide information on amended returns and recommendations to overcome the associated challenges.

What is an Amended Tax Return?

An amended tax return is a tax form that taxpayers submit if they realize that they made a mistake on their original return filing. An amended return is necessary if the taxpayer understated taxable income, overstated deductions or credits, or failed to report all of their taxable income. However, amended returns can only be filed by mail, and the processing time takes substantially longer than regular tax returns.

Why Can’t the IRS Provide Information on Amended Returns?

The IRS struggles to provide updates on amended returns due to these primary reasons:

Manual Processing

When a taxpayer files an amended return, it has to be processed manually by an IRS employee. This manual processing takes a longer time than it would take to process a regular tax return. Since regular returns have a shorter processing time, most of the IRS resources, including staff and technology, are directed towards managing these types of returns. As a result, amended returns receive less attention and, consequently, enhance the complexity of making updates.

Manual Tracking System

The IRS tracking system can handle only one tax return per social security number. Since amended returns are filed for the same tax period previously submitted, they cannot be tracked in the same system used to handle regular tax returns. This means that there is no efficient way to update taxpayers on the status of their amended returns, causing prolonged and unnecessary anxiety.

Errors in the Amended Return Form

If there are errors in the amended return form, it can slow down the processing time for a taxpayer’s correction when the IRS returns the form for corrections. The worse scenario is when the taxpayer sends out the amended return without making the correct corrections or without including additional information. This may result in the amended return being rejected, and the taxpayer may be liable for penalties. Unfortunately, the IRS cannot provide information on a rejected amended return as it has not been accepted for processing.

Overcoming the Challenges of Amended Returns

The challenges experienced by taxpayers when submitting amended returns should not discourage them from correcting any mistakes on their returns. Instead, here are some measures that taxpayers can take that will aid their endeavors:

Keep Copies of Amended Returns

Taxpayers should keep copies of their amended returns and documents to sign and date the copies before submitting them to the IRS. Having these copies is crucial for being prepared for any issues that may arise following submission, such as incorrect information or errors in the return form.

Utilize Online Resources

The IRS has a comprehensive web page with an abundance of resources and support to assist taxpayers in resolving any issues with their returns. Taxpayers are encouraged to use the page to confirm the status of their amended returns, and if necessary, call an IRS customer service agent for any clarification on their accounts.

Stay Organized

Once the amended return has been filed, taxpayers should retain all relevant documents, correspondence, and accounts until sufficient information regarding their amended return exists. If anything comes up, having the documentation on hand will provide a more straightforward and organized process for resolving any issues.


Although taxpayers hope for efficient and transparent processes when dealing with the IRS, amended tax returns are among the necessary evils that can cause anxiety. This article has shown that due to the associated manual processing, tracking systems, and errors in the form, the IRS struggles with providing updates on amended returns. Nevertheless, taxpayers can still overcome the challenges by keeping copies of their amended returns, using online resources, and staying organized. By taking these measures and remaining patient throughout the process, taxpayers can successfully resolve any issues with amended returns and restore peace of mind.

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