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IRS Form 1040x Instructions, A Complete Guide

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    Do you need to file the amended income tax return form, but you are confused about the form 1040x instructions? Are you unsure what documentation you need to supply to ensure that your paperwork gets accepted without any issues?

    It isn’t uncommon for Americans to need to amend their income tax forms. Millions of people need to update their dependents or update additional income information to ensure they don’t get in trouble with the IRS.

    If this sounds like you, then you came to the right place. In this brief Form 1040X guide, we will walk you through how to fill out the document and who you can contact if you need additional help!

    What Is Form 1040X?

    Form 1040X, formally known as the amended individual income tax return, is a form you can fill out to correct errors made on your income tax return. If you filed your income tax return under Forms 1040, 1040NR EZ, 1040EZ, 1040XNR, or 1040A, you could use 1040X to correct any errors. 

    In the case of these IRS forms, an “error” refers to updating information that can influence your tax calculations. The IRS corrects any mathematical errors. For example, if you added an additional dependent you shouldn’t have claimed, you can use Form 1040X to recalculate your deductions. 

    Who Needs These 1040X Filing Forms?

    No one is required to fill out this form as this is an amendment form. This means that you only need to use this if you need to amend your return so that you don’t face any penalties or fines from the IRS. 

    Qualifications for filing form 1040X:

    • Change amounts adjusted by the IRS
    • To claim unused or lost credit
    • Make certain elections to your return after a specific date

    If there are any mathematical errors on your return, the IRS will handle that. If you forgot to include a required schedule or form, you don’t have to use Form 1040X. Instead, the IRS will send you a request in the mail to complete those forms if necessary. 

    When to File Form 1040X

    Unlike most other forms available through the IRS, such as the 1099, there is no definite date for when you need to file the 1040X form. You should only file this form after filing your original return and receiving your refund (if applicable). 

    If you need to file this form, you must file it within three years of filing your original return or within two years after paying your taxes. It is important to note that even if you filed your income tax early, the IRS considers your filing date is April 15. 

    Special Case Scenarios

    There are specific scenarios where your deadline to submit this 1040X form will differ. For example, if there is a federally declared disaster or a foreign tax deduction or credit, they may change when to submit your document. 

    Where Can I Find Form 1040X?

    You can find this tax form on the IRS website, and you can either complete it online and print it out or print it out, complete it, and mail it to the IRS. It is imperative to note that you will have to physically mail in your form 1040X as you cannot file it online. 

    Even if you file your original tax return online, you must send the amendment form via mail. Once you send in the document, you must at least give the IRS between eight to twelve weeks to process it.

    Depending on their volume, you may not hear anything back until 16 weeks later. If you don’t hear anything back from the IRS by week three, you can go online to their IRS Amended Return tracking system to see the status of your form.

    Form 1040X Instructions

    Before you sit down and fill out this document, you should have a few forms on hand. The exact forms you will need to amend your document will depend on your situation, as no two tax amendment situations are exactly alike. 

    Documents to gather for your 1040X forms:

    • W-2s
    • 1099s
    • Worksheets
    • Schedules
    • Your original 1040

    Before making your amended changes on your new form, make your calculation adjustments in the margins of your original income tax form. After you do that, you can then transfer that number onto your amended document. 

    Step Two: Fill in the First Section

    The first section of the amended form should ask you for your basic information, including your name, contact information, and social security number. If you are married, you will need to include your partner’s name and social security information as well. 

    If your intention for completing the 1040X form is to change your filing status, make sure you indicate so in the first section. Even if you aren’t changing your filing status, you must select your current filing status. 

    Step Three: Take a Look at Lines 1-30

    Although there are 30 lines on the amendment document, you won’t need to fill them all out. Instead, depending on what you need to amend, you will only need to fill out a section of these lines. For example, if you need to amend your tax before credits, you will fill out lines five through twenty-three.

    If you aren’t sure which lines you need, you can always consult the “Which lines to complete” section. If you need more assistance than that, you can reach out to a reputable tax attorney to fill out the document on your behalf. 

    Step Four: Fill in the Document

    You will need to complete lines one through twenty-three based on your circumstances. The amounts on these lines will be pretty similar to what you put on your original 1040 return.

    When completing the form, you will need to put the original amount in column A and the net changes in column B. Finally, you must put the correct amount between the two in column C. If you must record any decreases, make sure you put them in parentheses. 

    When you complete line items one through twenty-three, you will be putting in information about your tax liability, deductions, and income to determine if you owe or overpaid. Don’t skip any lines to ensure that you fill out the document accurately. Go through the lines in numerical order because some lines require you to calculate a number based on previously filled outlines. 

    Step Five: Review and Complete Lines 24 to 30

    If you need to change information related to dependents or exemptions, you will need to complete lines 24 to 30. Just like the other section of the document, there are also three columns for this part. 

    In these lines, you must put what you previously reported in column A, the change in column B, and the correct number in the last column, C. Make sure that you follow along each line, reporting for your spouse and any dependents you have. 

    With line 28, you will put down your total of exemptions and multiply that number by the number listed in 29.

    Step Six: Fill In Part Two

    Part two of the amended document doesn’t necessarily ask you about your personal finances or net income; it will ask if you would like to donate $3 to the presidential election campaign fund. If you do, you can check the first box. Keep in mind that if you already checked this box on your original form, you cannot change it. 

    Step Seven: Complete Part Three

    The last part of the form, Part three, asks you to explain why you needed to make the changes. This is arguably one of the most essential parts of the entire amendment document because it is your chance to explain to the IRS about your situation. 

    Once you have your reason written out, you must sign and date it. If you filed jointly with your spouse, they also need to sign the document before sending it back to the IRS.

    Lastly, if you employ the help of a CPA or a tax attorney, they must fill in their information at the bottom. It is imperative that you have them sign the document if they prepared the paper on your behalf.

    In the event of an audit, the IRS will look to them for answers. If they don’t sign, the IRS will come after you with questions. 

    Step Eight: File the Form With the IRS

    Once you complete your document and review it for any errors, you can send it off to the IRS! To help move the process along, be sure to include any relevant forms and supporting documents that will justify your reason for the amendment. 

    Unless explicitly stated by the Internal Revenue System, you won’t need to include a copy of your 1040. You only needed it to complete the Form 1040X

    Paying Additional Taxes

    If, after completing the form, you find that you owe additional taxes, make sure you reach out to the IRS as soon as possible to avoid any penalties. The IRS has several different payment methods available for you to use. 

    Possible ways to pay back the IRS:

    • Check
    • Money order
    • Credit cards
    • IRS direct pay
    • Payment plans

    If you aren’t able to pay your tax liability all at once, you can submit a request for a payment plan. Granted your tax debt is below $50,000; you can request a payment plan online. If your tax liability is higher than that, you will need to submit Form 9465. 

    I Can’t Pay My Tax Liability

    If you need help paying your taxes, you must reach out to the IRS as soon as you can. If you leave it alone and you don’t pay what you owe, the IRS can garnish your wages, or they can put liens on your assets. They will take what you owe them if you don’t work it out with them. 

    If you cannot pay your debt because of financial hardship, you can let the IRS know. They will ask you a few questions to see if you qualify for the hardship status.

    Typically, you meet this criterion if you can’t afford to pay your basic needs in addition to paying your tax liability. Once granted the hardship status, they can reduce your liability or waive your fees. 

    Offer in Compromise

    Offer in compromise is another way to work out your debt with the IRS. You will want to work with a tax attorney with an offer in compromise. This is because an offer in compromise is how it sounds, a compromise. If the Internal Revenue System agrees you may be able to pay less than what you actually owe. 

    I Need Help Filing With the IRS

    Dealing with amended reports is a daunting task, especially if you have no idea what you’re looking for or what information you need to add. You can reach out to a certified public accountant to help you file the document, but they may not be the best option for your solution. 

    When it comes to dealing with the IRS for matters as such, you will want someone who can negotiate on your behalf and who can best explain your reason for amending the document. Tax attorneys are the best option to help you with this type of situation because they are a bit more knowledgeable about tax law, especially when it comes to the IRS. 

    File Your 1040X With Ease

    Although there are form 1040x instructions listed on the document to walk you through the process, they aren’t necessarily clear-cut. There may be credits you can claim that you may not know of, which could further reduce your tax liability.

    If you do owe the government money, there are ways for you to pay down that debt comfortably. Contact us for guidance if you need help filing your Form 1040X with the IRS. 

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