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How to File an Amended Tax Return

Did you file your taxes and then realize you forgot to include the income you received for a side gig? Maybe you claimed a tax credit by mistake. No worries. The IRS understands that errors happen and allows you to make corrections by filing an amended return. If you’re not sure how to file an amended tax return, don’t stress. We’ve put together some simple steps for you to follow that will make the process a breeze.

How to File an Amended Tax Return

Before you get ready to file your amended tax return, you’ll want to gather all the necessary forms and documents. This includes your original tax return and schedules, worksheets for the return you are amending, as well as supporting documents and the most current version of Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Once you have all items in hand, you can choose to either file electronically (if applicable) or by mail.

Electronic Filing

The IRS now allows electronic filing for certain amended returns. If you filed electronically (Form 1040 or 1040-SR) for tax years 2020, 2021, or 2022, you may also file an amended return electronically. Tax returns that were originally filed by paper, however, cannot be amended online.

To amend your tax return electronically, use the same software provider as your original return and follow the instructions for an amended return. You will need to submit all necessary forms and schedules as if you were filing for the first time, even if no corrections are required on some of the forms. Additionally, you’ll need to complete a new Form 8879, IRS e-file Signature Authorization, and include Form 1040-X.

Filing By Mail

If you are unable to file online, you will need to submit your amended tax return by mail. Completing Form 1040-X is pretty straightforward; just follow these 10 steps:

  1. Provide your personal information (address, phone, and Social Security number) at the top of the form, including which tax year is being corrected.
  2. Check the appropriate filing status box. This must be done even if you are keeping the same status from the original return.
  3. Input your income and deductions (lines 1-5), including any changes.
  4. Enter your tax liability (lines 6-11).
  5. Provide details on your tax payments (lines 12-17).
  6. Determine your refund or amount owed (lines 18-23).
  7. Complete Part 1 – Dependents (lines 24-30).
  8. Check one of the boxes in Part II (Presidential Election Campaign Fund), if applicable.
  9. Part III – Provide a detailed explanation of the changes made to your tax return and attach any supporting documentation.
  10. Sign and date your Form 1040-X

How to Organize Your Amended Return When Filing By Mail

Once you complete Form 1040-X, it’s time to assemble your return. Attach your schedules and forms behind Form 1040-X in the order of attachment sequence number shown in the upper-right corner of each. Supporting documents should be placed in the order of the schedule or forms they support and attached last. Do not include a copy of your original return, notices, or other items unless instructed to do so.

If you have any Form W-2s (including W-2c and W-2G), Form 2439, or Form 1042-S that support changes to your return, these should be attached to the front of Form 1040-X.

The address where you send your amended return will depend on your specific situation. Please refer to the form instructions to determine where you should send your materials. Be sure to keep a copy of your completed Form 1040-X for your records, as well as any supporting documents.

Tracking Your Amended Tax Return

You can confirm receipt of your amended return and track its status by visiting Where’s My Amended Return?  three weeks after filing.

It’s important to note that processing can take up to 20 weeks regardless of which method you use to file your amended tax return. Calling the IRS will not speed up the process.

Payment & Refund Options

If you owe additional taxes or expect a refund after completing your amended tax return, you have several options.

Payment Options

  1. You can send in a check or money order with your paper return filed by mail.
  2. Use Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher, if mailing a check but filing electronically.
  3. Pay online at IRS.gov/payments.
  4. Apply for a payment plan.
  5. Get help from a tax professional and explore other tax relief options.

Refund Options

As of this year, you can now have your tax refund direct deposited into your bank if you electronically filed an amended tax return for tax year 2021 or 2022. All other filers will have their refund sent by check to the address on file with the IRS.

Need Help?

If you need assistance with amending your tax return, reach out to the tax professionals at Tax Defense Network. We offer affordable personal and business tax services, such as audit assistance and tax preparation. For a free consultation and quote, call 855-476-6920 today!