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Published:   |   Last Updated: January 6, 2024

Amended Returns Form 1040-X

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If you discover an error after filing your return, you may need to amend your return. The IRS may correct certain errors on a return and may accept returns without certain required forms or schedules. In these instances, there’s no need to amend your return. However, you may need to file an amended return if there’s a change in your filing status, income, deductions, credits, or tax liability. Use Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040, Form 1040-SR, or Form 1040-NR, or to change amounts previously adjusted by the IRS.  You can also use Form 1040-X to file a claim for a carryback due to a loss or unused credit, or make certain elections after the deadline.

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What does this letter or notice mean to me?

Use Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, to correct a previously filed Form 1040-series return (Forms 1040, 1040-SR, or 1040-NR) or to change amounts previously adjusted by the IRS.

If you realize there was a mistake on your return, you can amend it using Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

Situations in which you may need to file an amended return:

  • There is a change to your filing status, income, deductions, credits, or tax liability.
  • The IRS made an adjustment(s) to your return and sent you a notice that you disagree with, and you want to change the amount(s) adjusted by the IRS.
  • You want to claim a carryback due to a loss or unused credit. In this case, you may be able to use Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund instead of Form 1040-X, which will generally, result in a quicker refund.

If you’re unsure if you should file an amended return, you can use this tax tool to help you decide.

Generally, if you are filing an amended return to claim a refund or credit, you must file your amended return within three years after the date you filed your original return or within two years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. However, there are exceptions to the rule in some situations, Amending a Tax Return – Taxpayer Advocate Service (irs.gov)

Beginning in February 2023, if you electronically file a Form 1040-X for tax year 2021 or later, you can get your refund by direct deposit into either a checking or savings account. You still have the option to submit a paper version of Form 1040-X and receive a paper check.

If the IRS finds mistakes like a math error or missing schedule before you do, you’ll get an IRS notice. The notice will tell you about the mistake and what information (if any) you need to submit to the IRS to correct it. See Incorrect Tax Return for more information. When the IRS sends you a notice about errors, there are usually other ways to correct errors besides an amended tax return.

If all you need to do is change your address, IRS.gov’s Address Changes page lists all available options.

How did I get here?

If you realize there was a mistake on your return, you may be able to amend it using Form 1040-X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return.

For example, a change to your filing status, income, deductions, credits, or tax liability means you may need to amend your return.  This could occur if you receive an additional Form W-2 after you have already filed your original return.  Or the IRS may have made an adjustment to your return, and sent you a notice with which you disagree.  If so, you would file an amended return to change the amounts adjusted by the IRS.

You can also amend your return to claim a carryback due to a loss or unused credit.  In this case, you may be able to use Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund instead of Form 1040-X, which will generally result in a quicker refund. But note that you generally have a longer period in which to file a Form 1040-X than a Form 1045, so look closely at the Instructions to Form 1045 to see whether you can use Form 1045.

Generally, if you are filing an amended return to claim a refund or credit, you must file your amended return within three years after the date you filed your original return or within two years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. Note, however, that there are numerous exceptions to the general three-year/two-year rule.

What are my next steps?

Before filing an amended tax return:

  • Request a Tax Return transcript and Record of Account from the IRS if you’re not sure what amounts were on your original return or what adjustments the IRS may have made.
  • Gather your documents, such as a copy of the return you are amending, all IRS Forms W-2 or W-2C, IRS Forms 1099 or 1099-C, etc. that support the changes you wish to make. Be sure to keep copies for your records.
  • Review and follow all the Form 1040-X Instructions before submitting your amended tax return. Be sure to read the “Special Situations” section for instances that have special conditions or rules you need to follow.
  • Beginning in February 2023, if you electronically file a Form 1040-X for tax year 2021 or later, you can get your refund by direct deposit into either a checking or savings account. You still have the option to submit a paper version of Form 1040-X and receive a paper check.

Where can I get additional help?

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If you still need help

The Taxpayer Advocate Service is an independent organization within the IRS that helps taxpayers and protects taxpayers’ rights. We can offer you help if your tax problem is causing a financial difficulty, you’ve tried and been unable to resolve your issue with the IRS, or you believe an IRS system, process, or procedure just isn’t working as it should. If you qualify for our assistance, which is always free, we will do everything possible to help you.

Visit www.taxpayeradvocate.irs.gov or call 1-877-777-4778.

Low Income Taxpayer Clinics (LITCs) are independent from the IRS and TAS. LITCs represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals, and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language. Services are offered for free or a small fee. For more information or to find an LITC near you, see the LITC page on the TAS website or Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List.

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