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Let's say I screwed up and didn't claim all the deductions that I could have in a previous tax year.

Can I file a new tax return for that year which is corrected, then claim the difference between what I actually paid and what I should have paid as a refund? Is that what an "ammended" return is?

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Yes. You can file an amended tax return to correct the deductions that you did not claim when you originally filed. The IRS has more information about when to amend and when not to amend tax returns.

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