Amended Return

Even with meticulous tax filing, faults can still occur. You can file an amended return to fix a mistake on a tax return that has already been filed. Here is all the information you require regarding how to file an amended tax return.

What is an Amended Return ?

The amended return refers to changes made to a tax return from previous years. If you made a mistake on your tax return, you can fix it by filing an amended return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

After filing your return, if you find a mistake, you might need to revise it. The IRS may accept returns without some required documents or schedules and may rectify mathematical and clerical errors on a return. There is no need to modify your return in these circumstances.

You won't encounter issues with the IRS if you file an amended return. Correcting the filing status, the total income, the number of dependents, or claiming tax deductions or credits that were not claimed on the initial return are some of the reasons for submitting an updated return.

Taxpayers can file IRS Form 1040-X, often known as an amended tax return, with the IRS to fix errors on a federal tax return. The form is usually used to fix mistakes with regard to filing status, income, claimed deductions or credits, or tax liabilities.

To make changes to a previously submitted Form 1040, Form 1040-SR, Form 1040-A, Form 1040-EZ, Form 1040-NR, or Form 1040-NR-EZ, or to amend amounts previously adjusted by the IRS, use Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return. Form 1040-X can be used to submit a carry back claim for a loss or unused credit.

Any errors on a tax return can be corrected by the taxpayer within three years. In the meantime, the IRS audits tax returns from the previous six years at random. There is no statute of limitations on reopening a case for auditing if the IRS suspects a person purposefully filed a false return.

Key Facts of Amended Tax Return

  • A IRS amended return is one that has been filed to update a prior year's tax return.
  • Amended returns must be filed using IRS form 1040X.
  • If there is a change in your filing status, income, deductions, credits, or tax liability, you must file an amended return.
  • For a specific tax year, you have two or three years to file an amended tax return.
  • An updated return can fix mistakes and assert a more favorable tax status, such a refund.
  • The statute of limitations on issuing tax refund checks is three years.
  • In some circumstances, Form 1040-X can be submitted electronically or by mail.

How Does the Amended Tax Returns Work ?

All taxpayers in the US are required to file annual taxes covering their earnings from the preceding tax year. You can file a second, amended tax return if you've already filed your tax return but later find out more information or realize you made a mistake. The IRS website lists the amended return form as Form 1040X. You demonstrate to the IRS your adjustments to your tax return and the right tax sum on that form.

The IRS corrects math errors, as was already explained. Any changes that have been made to your data that can affect your tax liability or refund amount will be communicated to you. The IRS will also alert you if any information from your initial tax return is missing. You can use an interview-style tool provided by the IRS to evaluate whether you need to file an amended return based on your current circumstances.

Who Should File an Amended Return ?

Every year for the previous tax year, all taxpayers must file their taxes. After submitting or mailing a return that the government has accepted, taxpayers may come to the realization that they filled out their tax forms incorrectly or that their circumstances have changed. If this happens, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has made it possible for these people to file their taxes again by posting a Form 1040-X, Amended Return, on the IRS website.

Not every inaccuracy needs to be corrected by the form. When the original tax return is submitted to the IRS for processing, for instance, the IRS will find and fix a mathematical error. Any refunds due will be modified in this situation, and the taxpayer will be charged for any additional tax obligations. The IRS will issue a letter asking the person to mail the missing data to one of their offices if they fail to include a necessary form or schedule in their filed original tax return.

When to File an Amended Return ?

You must complete a different Form 1040-X for every return you're amending if it spans more than one year. You must also mention any schedules or forms that the changes would affect.

You must typically file Form 1040-X within three years after filing your first return or within two years of paying the tax, whichever comes first, if you want to obtain money back. Even after the tax filing deadline for the given tax year has passed, an amended tax return may still be submitted.

What are the Reasons to File an Amended Return ?

You may need to file an amended tax return in a variety of situations. A taxpayer is required to submit an amended return if :
  • The filing status of the taxpayer for the tax year changed or was entered improperly.
  • The claimed number of dependents is incorrect. If a taxpayer has to add more dependents or drop dependents that were previously claimed, an updated return will be required.
  • Tax deductions and credits were either not claimed at all or were claimed wrongly. In the latter scenario, it's possible that the taxpayer discovered that they were eligible for a credit or deduction and decided to file an amended return to reflect this.
  • For the tax year, reported income was incorrect. A taxpayer may file an updated tax return to disclose additional income if they receive additional tax documents for the tax year (such as a Form 1099 or a K-1) after the filing deadline.
  • Due to changes in the law, some expenses are no longer deductible. Sometimes new legislation that impacts the tax-deductible status of specific costs is passed after a taxpayer has submitted their return.
  • The taxpayer's tax liability varies as a result of tax relief caused by a natural disaster. For taxpayers who have experienced a natural disaster, especially one that occurs toward the end of the tax year, this is a regular problem.
  • When the tax return is due, taxpayers should pay their whole tax debt in full. If the law changes, the taxpayer can file an updated return to recoup any refund owing to natural catastrophe tax relief.
  • The taxpayer realizes that they owe more taxes than they actually paid. They can submit an amended return to the IRS to avoid paying a fine from the government.

How to File an Amended Tax Return ?

Visit the IRS website to find Form 1040X as the first step in learning how to file an amended tax return. You can either e-file or download a paper Form 1040X from IRS website to file an amended tax return. If you decide to paper file, you must mail the paper form.

A, B, and C are the three columns on Form 1040-X. The amount reported on the initial or most recent modified tax form is listed under column A. The amended or accurate number must be entered by the taxpayer in column C. Column B displays the difference between columns A and C.

A tax refund, balance due, or no change in taxes will occur from the changes made to a tax return. In a section located on the back of Form 1040-X, the taxpayer is additionally required to describe the modifications they are making as well as the rationale behind each change.

To prevent confusion and thoroughly review the facts on the updated return, it is beneficial to provide the IRS with detailed information. This includes copies of any schedules or forms that you have modified or omitted from the initial return.

In general, you must file Form 1040-X within 3 years of the initial return filing date or within 2 years of the tax payment date, whichever is later, in order to request a refund. Withholding is regarded as tax paid on the due day, while returns filed before the due date are considered filed on the due date. Refund claims including net operating losses, foreign tax credits, bad debts, and other problems are subject to special regulations.

Where to File Amended Tax Return ?

Check the amended return details carefully for accuracy after completing the 1040X. Finding out where to send amended tax returns is the next step. Amended returns could only be physically mailed to the IRS Service Center until the summer of 2020. Still, you have the option to send it this way. You can also file your return online as an alternative. You'll need the following to prepare your amended return:
  • A copy of your original tax return that you want to fix
  • W-2s
  • Forms
  • Schedules
  • Explanation for why you are amending your tax return
Ensure that all of your W-2s, schedules, and forms pertain to the same tax year as your tax return.

To avoid incurring interest and penalty fees, you should pay your taxes as soon as you can if your amended return shows that you owe additional money in taxes. IRS Direct Pay enables free online tax filing and payment from a bank account.

How to File Amended Tax Return by Mail ?

  • Fill out Form 1040-X completely by adhering to the directions and inputting the right data. Include a justification for filing an amended return as well.
  • Sign and mail IRS Form 1040-X to the address listed under “Where to File” in the form’s instructions.

How to e-File Amended Tax Return ?

You can modify Forms 1040, 1040-SR, and 1040-NR for tax years 2019 and after by filing Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, electronically with tax preparation software.
  • Check with your tax software provider to see whether they can electronically process your amended return. (Since this is a novel option, not many businesses have set up their systems.)
  • To file your amended return, adhere to the directions provided by the tax software.

How to Check Amended Tax Return Status ?

Your amended return may take up to three weeks to enter the system and up to 16 weeks to process. Before this, there's no need to monitor its development. However, you can use the amended return checker on the IRS website if you're curious or the 16-week period has gone. During the tracking process for your updated return, you must provide :
  • Your taxpayer identification number (Social Security number)
  • Your date of birth
  • Your ZIP code

Amended Tax Return Status

Did you file a Form 1040X for an amended tax return but are unsure of how to check its status? For the current year and up to three previous years, you can keep track of the progress of amended returns. There are several options for tracking updated tax returns :
  • Using the Where's My Amended Return? online tool, you can find out the status of your amended return that was filed on paper or electronically.
  • Call toll-free number 866-464-2050, three weeks after you submit your amended return.

Balance Due :

If you file Form 1040-X and pay the additional tax by the filing deadline for that year, you can avoid penalties and interest even if the due date for that tax return has passed. If the filing deadline falls on a Saturday, Sunday, or legal holiday, filing or paying your amended return the following business day will make it timely. Do not include interest or penalties on Form 1040-X if you submit after the deadline because they will be modified.

State Tax Returns :

Your state tax burden may alter as a result of changes made to your federal return. Contact your state tax agency for details on how to amend your state tax return.

Additional Details :

Refer to Should I File an Amended Return? the Instructions for Form 1040-X for further details.

Amended Tax Return Deadline

You must typically file an amended return by the later of the following dates in order to receive a refund :
  • Three years within the original filing date of your return.
  • Within two years from the date you paid the tax.
If you received an extension, the filing date is one of these :
  • Actual date you filed your return within the extension period.
  • Tax deadline if you filed your return after the extension period expired.
You have more time to file if you need to amend your tax return because of a dud debt or worthless security. You have seven years from the original return's due date in this situation to file the amended return.

Frequently Asked Questions

What to check while submitting the 1040X form?
It's a good practise to read over your whole original return before amending a return for a particular cause. Consider looking for the following things that you could have overlooked the first time, such as:
  • Deductions
  • Credits
  • Exemptions
  • Income
  • Withholding
By doing this, you may end up owing less money or receiving a larger refund.

Who can file an amended tax return using Form 1040X?
As long as your initial tax return was prepared using a 1040 form or 1040SR, you may change your taxes.

How is a amended tax return submitted?
In general, you have to resubmit the form that had problems. On some forms, you can check a box to say that you're submitting an altered version of the form. You might also need to file an amended 1040 if the forms you amend have an impact on your 1040 for that year.

What are causes that an Amended Return cannot be filed electronically?
For the following reasons, amended returns must be filed on paper:
  • At present moment, only tax returns for the tax years 2019, 2020, and 2021 (1040 and 1040-SR), as well as tax returns for the tax year 2021 (1040-NR and 1040-SS/PR), can be changed electronically. Amended/Corrected Paper returns must be filed for all other tax years and tax types.
  • If you are modifying a return from a previous year and the original return was submitted on paper during the current processing year, the modified return must also be submitted on paper.

How do I electronically file my amended return?
To confirm their involvement, obtain the precise instructions required to submit your revised return, and get any queries answered, get in touch with your selected tax software supplier.

How many amended returns can be electronically filed?
Three "acceptable" Amended Returns may be electronically filed by each Filer. All additional attempts will be rejected following the third acceptable Amended Return.

Can I file my amended return for prior tax years electronically?
Forms 1040 and 1040-SR forms for tax years 2019, 2020, and 2021 can currently be electronically amended. Forms 1040-NR Amended for Tax Year 2021 and 1040-SS/PR for Tax Year 2021 are also available. Now, corrected returns can be electronically filed.

What forms must accompany an amended return filed electronically?
Even though some forms might not need revisions, filing of ALL required forms and schedules is required for the electronic Forms 1040, 1040-SR, and 1040-NR Amended Returns (with attached Form 1040-X). The 1040-SS/PR form Despite the fact that some forms might not need to be adjusted, corrected returns must nonetheless include ALL required forms and schedules. Keep in mind that Form 1040-X won't be included with Form 1040-SS/PR.

How can I find out the status of my amended return that I filed electronically?
The Where's My Amended Return? online tool allows you to track the progress of your amended return if you filed it electronically.

When Not to File an Amended Return ?
  • If you get a CP2000 notification
  • If you calculate your return incorrectly
  • If you wish to reduce the punishments imposed on you
When the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) believes you have underreported your income, you will receive a CP2000 notice. Underreporting may result in serious fines in addition to the CP2000 notice. A fresh return should be filed as opposed to an updated return when receiving a CP2000.

The IRS will correct any mathematical errors, so there is no need to file an amended return. The IRS will inform you of the correction and provide supporting documents. It is not essential to file an updated return to lower penalties. Instead, if you have a good reason or are being penalized for the first time, you can ask for an abatement.

How long will the processing of a amended return take?
Once we receive a Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, processing time might last up to 16 weeks.

Should I file a amended return in order to receive my stimulus payment?
You won't get a bigger payment or a stimulus check if you file an amended tax return, sorry. The IRS won't reconsider your eligibility if it already determined that you are unable to receive a stimulus check based on your 2018 or 2019 tax return. The IRS won't recalculate your payment amount if you have already received your stimulus check and it was less than you anticipated.

What are the benefits of filing an amended return?

1040X tax form, modified Unbelievable as it may seem, using an updated return might have significant advantages like:
  • Filing a tax credit claim
  • Taking a missed deduction
  • Reporting withholding and additional income
Actually, by submitting the 1040X form for a corrected return, you could:
  • Obtain an additional refund
  • As a result of the correction, owe more taxes.
After accepting your updated return, the IRS will issue you any refunds that you are entitled to. Send the IRS the 1040X tax form and any money owed if you owe tax. The IRS will send you a bill if you owe interest or a penalty.

What to include in your amended tax return?
You might be unsure of what to put in your revised return when you submit a 1040X tax form. If you need to provide evidence to support the changes on your amended return, you must provide the following:
  • A copy of the deposit slip for federal refunds.
  • Any unsubmitted W-2 or 1099 forms from the past.
  • Any additional supporting forms, schedules, or paperwork for the modified return.