Level 1

International student mistakenly filed both federal and state (Colorado) tax return as US citizen using Turbo Tax. How do I fix both the federal and state tax returns?

I read one answer on this forum saying that I need to "wait until they have processed and provided you the refund (or you've paid tax due) and then amend that return to a 1040NR (or 1040NR-EZ)". It's two weeks from the date I filed the tax and I haven't received the refund yet, while the deadline for filing tax return this year is 2 days from now.

So do I need to wait until I receive the refund before I can file the amended tax as outlined here? Would that be considered as missing the deadline since I don't want to run into any trouble in the future. Can I file the amended forms now rather than waiting for the refund?

And if I receive the refund directly deposited into my account how can I return the money?

And can you show me how to file the amended forms for the state tax?

Thank you so much!

Expert Alumni

After you file

It really is best to wait for the refund, in case it is adjusted.  You can extend your time to file so that you can be a little less stressed by filing this form (by mail): IRS Request for Extension.


Once you receive your refund your amended return will reflect the difference between what you received and what you should have received - this is another reason why it is important to wait.  You will return only the part that is more than what would have been the refund on the amended return (if anything - sometimes the IRS ends up owing you more money instead.) 


Your state tax return can be amended if necessary after you prepare the federal one - you will need key information from it to update your state return.  It is possible that it will not require amendment. 


You have filed a return so you will not be subject to any penalties for late filing.  You could potentially owe a little bit in late penalties and interest for any late payment but if that happens you can often have the penalty portion removed with a simple phone call to the IRS asking for "First Time Abatement" penalty relief.   

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Level 11
Level 11

After you file

@nhanjkl , two options --

(1) use the services like  SprinTax , Tax Professional familiar with international student filings or seek help from your school;  

(2)  download the form 1040-NR-EZ , it is a fillable .pdf.  Fill this out as if this is the first time ( i.e. not as an amended return);   include a note explaining  that you had filed using the wrong form and this is to correct that un-intentional error;  attach a copy of the  return already filed  marked " not for processing",  mail the whole shebang to the IRS ( for your state  or region ). This will mean human intervention at the IRS and will take time but you have filed as required by law.


There is no change for the state.


Good Luck