How to File Form 1040-X: Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return

Amended Form 1040-X

The Amended US individual income tax return Form by the IRS is used by individual taxpayers who wish to correct an error that has been made in their already filed federal tax return Forms. Generally, taxpayers use Form 1040-X to correct mistakes such as errors in the filing status, omissions of credits, errors with the number of dependents, etc. This Form is not used to correct simple errors with calculations in the tax return as IRS does them while processing the returns. 

Who should file Form 1040-X?

The 1040-X can be filed by anyone who has filed a tax return with the IRS already and wants to amend it for the following reasons.

  • To make material changes in the IRS Forms used to file their annual tax returns, such as Forms 1040, 1040-SR, 1040-NR, etc.
  • A taxpayer wishing to make an election after the deadline, such as choosing to elect the file either as an individual or jointly with the spouse.
  • To make changes in the amount that was adjusted by the IRS previously.
  • For making a carryback claim for unused credit.

For getting the refund from the IRS, the Form should be filed within three years after the original 1040 Form was filed, or within two years after paying the tax. Taxpayers filing 1040-X will also be required to amend their state tax returns. 

Process of Filing Form 1040-X

The IRS has made this Form extremely easy to use by the taxpayers. This Form is an itemized, line by line description of all possible adjustments, to be made by the taxpayer. Thus they record the exact type of amendment, and the amount and also include a brief description of what is being amended and the justifications behind the amendment. While filing this amendment form, the taxpayer is also required to file the entire 1040 or 1040-SR, along with other attached schedules and forms, even if they were not amended. 

Taxpayers can e-file Form 1040-X or send it to the IRS by mail, but the electronic tax filers will get a faster response if they are expecting a check. It is possible to file Form 1040-X only after an annual return is filed. Some tips offered by the IRS regarding Form 1040-X for the taxpayers are as follows.

  • The taxpayers can wait for their first tax refund if their original tax return includes a refund, before filing 1040-X.
  • File Form 1040X within the three years’ amendment period. The returns filed early will be considered to be filed on the official deadline date for filing taxes. 
  • You can File this form either electronically or mail it to the IRS within the stipulated deadline. 
  • You can track the status of the returns for the current year and up to three prior years. When you check online, prove your identity with TIN, DOB, and zip code.

Some reasons taxpayers file amendments to a return are forgetting to report an income, incorrectly claiming dependents, or when they forget to report certain income. The best way to file them is to file them electronically without any errors and within the stipulated time.