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How to File an Amended Income Tax Return (Form 1040X)

This article was written by in Taxes. 186 comments.


This article refers to an earlier version of Form 1040X. Some instructions may be slightly different depending on the form revision the IRS now has available.

If you have filed your taxes for the most recent year but would like to take advantage of a new credit, such as the $8,000 first-time home buyer tax credit, without waiting for next year, you will need to file an amended income tax return.

You cannot file an amended tax return electronically. This article will explain the process and all it will cost you is a postage stamp.

Note: Some online tax preparation applications like TurboTax and H&R Block allow you to complete this form online, but you are still required to print and send the forms and supporting documentation through the mail.

1. Have your completed tax return ready. Start with the income tax form you submitted earlier this year, either your 1040, 1040EZ, or 1040A. You will need to include some of this information on the new form. Do not attempt to rely on your memory.

2. Download the blank amendment form. You need Adobe Reader to download and print Form 1040X. It is available on the IRS website or directly from Consumerism Commentary through this link [pdf]. This will always link to the most recent 1040X.

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3. Enter your current personal information in the top section. If you have a current version of Adobe Reader, you should be able to click on any blank line of the form to type directly into the document. Ensure you include the proper tax year at the top of the form; if you are completing this form in July 2009 to amend the tax form you filed in April 2009 for the 2008 tax year, make sure you enter the year 2008 in this field. Double-check your Social Security Number.

4. Identify what has changed. The second section of this page of form 1040X has three columns. The first column should contain the amounts you presented on your original 1040. The third column should contain the adjusted value. The second should contain the difference between your first column (original amount) and third column (new amount). For example, if you are adjusting your form to change the amount of your Earned Income Credit (EIC) from $0 to $300, line 13 would read would read in order $0, $300, and $300. If you are changing the EIC from $300 to $0, the line would read $300, -$300, $0.

5. Download the appropriate credit form. If you are filing the amendment because you now qualify for the first-time home buyers tax credit, download form 5405 [pdf] and use this form in the same manner to calculate your rebate. Enter the result from line 6 of form 5405 on line 15 of form 1040X.

6. Finish the calculations on 1040X. Continue until the first page of the form is complete and be sure to make note of any additional forms you need to provide based on the adjustment you are making.


7. Complete the second page of 1040X. You can skip Part I of the second page if you are not changing your number of exemptions and are not changing your exemption for families displaced by Katrina or mid-western storms. Part II is required. Explain why you are amending your return. Here is an example:

I am filing this amendment to claim the new first-time home buyer tax credit for the house purchased on July 1, 2009. Please see the enclosed documentation to support my ownership.

8. Print and sign the tax forms. Ensure you are printing all forms relevant to the amended tax return including any forms related to credits you are claiming. Don’t forget to add your signature where required.

9. Mail the forms and supporting documentation. In addition to the forms, include any evidence pertaining to the credit you are claiming to ensure the IRS will process your request quickly without questioning the validity of your claim. For example, you might want to include a copy of your bill of sale, your title, or your mortgage documentation.

Send your complete package to the address corresponding to your state.

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I might include “(1040X)” at the end of the first line of the address to help route the form to the correct department faster.

It is unlikely the IRS will directly deposit any additional refund owed to you due to your amended return even if your initial refund was directly deposited, so you can expect to receive a check. Many people are reporting the IRS is very slow in providing these checks so ensure all of your documentation is in order and be prepared to wait four months or more.

Always remember that I am not a tax professional. Even if I were, this should not be considered tax advice. Ask your tax accountant if you have doubts whether to file an amended return.

Updated February 11, 2014 and originally published July 15, 2009. If you enjoyed this article, subscribe to the RSS feed or receive daily emails. Follow @ConsumerismComm on Twitter and visit our Facebook page for more updates.

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About the author

Luke Landes, also known as Flexo, is the founder of Consumerism Commentary. He has been blogging and writing for the internet since 1995 and has been building online communities since 1991. Find out more about him and follow Luke Landes on Twitter. View all articles by .

{ 186 comments… read them below or add one }

avatar Elisabeth

Just realized I paid 4480.00 in tuition in 2009 that I never claimed on my 2009 taxes. Is it still possible to amend this return to gain a credit for it?

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avatar Tania

You have up to three years from the date that you FILED your taxes.. You’re filing for 2009 in April 2010 – you have until April 2013 to amend your return.

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avatar Francis Williams

I now realize that I DID NOT include over $8,000 of contributions to my church and other organizations like; Salvation Army, Red Cross, Am. Cancer Society etc. for the year 2009 and would like to submit a revised return. I have canceled checks to confirm these donations.

What is the process and how do I get the forms to accomplish this?

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avatar Tania

You will need three documents:

original 1040 and all the schedules, forms
a newly filled 1040 of the same year with all the schedules and forms, fixing the error(s)
1040x

You can find the 1040x by googling “1040x” and go to the irs.gov site. An adobe file will pop up. Be sure that if you’re amending multiple years to file and mail each separately.

Before you do all of this, be sure that your income does not exceed a certain amount (which varies according to whether you file singly or married). Also, you may not be able to deduct all of your contributions, and the difference may not be worth all the trouble after all so be sure it’s nominal. They manually analyze amended claims so it will take longer.

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avatar Jon Rhodes

What would I need to do to file mileage rate issues,. IE I get paid less then the federal rate for years 2009 and 2010.

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avatar Cynthia

If I pay $12 a day for parking can I claim that on my taxes? And what documents do I need to attach.

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avatar John

I’ve forgot to inclure the 1099 NT from my bank on my 2009 TAX return, Should I go ahead and file amended returns to avoid IRS penalty? or just wait to receive a penalty and paid the amount requested ?
please advise,

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avatar Sharon

I did not include the w-2 from my work study job in my taxes last March as I didn’t think WS counted as earned income. It’s the only adjustment I need to make. How do I do this? It’s all so confusing!!

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avatar Sharon

And what do I write under “reason you’re amending”?

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avatar Evelyn

We forgot to take credit for Schedule M. What fields on the 1040x am I suppose to fill out besides lines 14, 20, and 21 and Part III for the explanation. Thank you!

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avatar Gwen

I am just wondering what to do if I did not add one of my 1098t form on my last year taxes. Can I use it this year? Is there a penalty? Also how do I find out if I filed all of my w2′s from prior years

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avatar Tammy Meehan

My fiance paid all of the childcare expenses for his son in 2009 (approximately $6000) but did not claim the child as a dependent that year (he and the child’s mother alternate years for claiming him). Can he file an amended return for that year and claim a credit for those expenses?

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avatar Cynthia

Can I amend my 2010 tax return from married filing together to single? I was supposed to get married and to avoid my partners penaltys we filed married. But we never did get married and now I want to file as single head of household.

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avatar Paul Craig

My daughter and son-in-law purchased their first home in Aug 2010. I filed their taxes with a computer program. Are they entitled to amend their 1040 and file for the FIRST TIME HOMEOWNERS CREDIT.

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avatar David

I forgot that we refinanced the house and did not add an additional 4,000 dollars of Mortgage interest on my 2010 tax return. What form do I use to amend the return. I couldn’t find it on the 1040X.

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avatar AkBar Dar

I forgot to claim American Oppurtunity Credit on my 2009 Federal Tax Return. Can I file the amemded 2009 tax return now?

Please advise.

Regards
AkBar Dar

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avatar ShellyJ

My husband and I qualified for the EIC for 2009, but the IRS disallowed it because we did not include Schedule SE for husband’s income. The form clearly says DO NOT file if Self Employment Tax is less than $400 (he had a business loss). However, when I spoke to IRS they told me it needed to be included in order to receive the EIC. So when I file the ammended return what do I put in that section in column A? The amount they allowed?

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avatar Peeyush

Hi,
I would really appreciate if you can answer this question.
I was in US for almost 9 months in 2010 and then I went back to my home country. I got married there and come back along with my wife in 2011 July. Initially when I filled my 2010 tax return the preparer used my filing status as Single and I got less refund.
Now I want to know whether I can refile my tax return using married filing jointly status. Important thing to note is my wife came to US first time in 2011 and thereafter she got her ssn. So can I use her ssn to file for 2010 tax return.
Thanks in anticipation.

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avatar Bill R.

On my 2010 returns submitted through Turbo Tax, I mistakenly reported a 401(k) rollover as being placed in a Roth IRA rather than the traditional IRA. When I did my 2011 taxes, Turbo Tax included that in my income for 2011 and I had to pay taxes. How do I correct that?

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avatar Santra

I received a bonus check in 2010,.My question can I add bonus check I received on 2010 on my 2012 when I file ? Because I thought you have 2 years .Also if you take money out of your 401K and workplace taxed you can IRS tax you again?
Thanks

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avatar Lee

I recently filed my taxes using the Liferime Learning Credit for my children education, can I amend my return to take the American Opportunity Credit to claim the expenses paid for their education

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avatar Ed

(((I contributed $3000 to a traditional IRA for tax year 2009. The IRS disallowed the tax deferral in 2011 because, although I made no contributions to my new employer’s 401K plan, I was still “covered”. I’ve paid the additional tax due. My question is what do I need to do to withdraw the money without penalty since it’s no longer a tax deferred contribution?)))

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avatar Kay

There was a small amount of income not included ($299) on my 1040 e-filed Federal income tax in March 2013. So I have completed a 1040X with the amount added. I owe $45 more in tax. Do I mail the check and 1040X with a regular postage stamp to the Fresno CA address or do I need to send it registered mail or something?

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avatar Katie

Can I use a regular stamp to mail the 1040x or do I need to send it registered mail or something?

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avatar Katie

Do I mail my 1040x with a regular stamp or do I send registered mail or something?

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avatar TONY

I did not received a refund from my 2012 return but I found errors on it that is going to less than the refund in the original return. Can I amended the return before receive the refund?

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avatar Bay

I forgot to add my pfd to my tax. What form do I need to fill out? I live in alaska

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avatar Perussia

No its free

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avatar TONY

I did no received the refund yet so I want to avoid penalties before receive the refund.

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