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Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Have you ever made a mistake and wished you could get a do-over? For taxpayers, there is such an option – IRS Form 1040-X. If you previously filed Form 1040, 1040-SR, or 1040-NR and need to update your tax return, you can file an amended return and essentially get a do-over.

When to File Form 1040-X

Mistakes happen. Thankfully, the IRS allows you to file Form 1040-X so you can correct those errors. Not all mistakes, however, require you to file an amended return. For example, if you made a math error don’t file a 1040-X. The IRS typically corrects these for you.

So, when should you file Form 1040-X? Here are some examples of when an amended tax return is needed:

  • You claimed the wrong filing status
  • You neglected to include all your taxable income
  • You need to add or remove a dependent
  • You forgot to claim or mistakenly claimed credits or deductions

Generally, you’ll have three (3) years from the date you filed your original return or two (2) years from when you paid your taxes to file your amended return, whichever is later.

If you’re the victim of a federally declared disaster and want to file an amended tax return to claim a casualty loss deduction for the prior tax year, you’ll need to submit Form 1040-X within six (6) months of the original filing deadline.

How to File an Amended Tax Return

Filing an amended tax return is pretty straightforward. Just follow these steps to submit your Form 1040-X.

  1. Gather your documents. This includes the original tax forms, W-2s, 1099s, and other documentation needed to support deductions or credits you are claiming.
  2. Organize your forms. Along with Form 1040-X, you’ll need any forms, such as a Schedule B, that may be impacted by changes on your amended return.
  3. Complete Form 1040-X. The amended tax return consists of two pages. You should fill in the information in the top portion of page 1 and then complete lines 1-23 as directed below.
    IF you are changing only…THEN complete Form 1040-X…
    Filing StatusLines 1-23
    IncomeLines 1-23
    Adjustments to incomeLines 1-23
    Itemized or standard deductionsLines 1-23
    Qualified business income deductionLines 4b-23
    Tax before creditsLines 5-23
    Non-refundable creditsLines 6-23
    Other taxesLines 6-23
    Payments and refundable creditsLines 11-23
    Source: Internal Revenue Service

    On page 2, you will only complete Part I (Dependents) if you are making changes to the number of dependents claimed on your original return. Complete Part II if you’d like to have $3 go to the Presidential Election Campaign Fund and didn’t designate this on your original return. If it’s been more than 20.5 months since the original filing due date, you can’t update this section. A previous designation of $3 to the fund can’t be changed at any time. In Part III, explain any changes made to your return. You will also need to attach any supporting evidence, changed forms, or schedules that correspond to these alterations.

  4. Sign and submit! Be sure to sign and date your amended return. You’ll also need to include your occupation. For tax years 2018 and earlier, assemble per IRS Form 1040-X instructions and mail to the service center address designated for your area. Later tax years can be filed electronically using available tax software products.

If amending your tax return results in additional taxes owed, you’ll need to make a tax payment online (if using software) or include a check with your Form 1040-X sent by mail. Failure to do so will result in additional penalties and interest. 

Need Help?

If you need assistance with completing your amended tax return, please contact Tax Defense Network at 855-476-6920 for a free consultation and quote.

You can also find instructions on how to complete Form 1040-X on IRS.gov.