Amend Tax Return: IRS Rules & How-Tos

Amend Tax Return: Step-by-Step How-To Guide

Filing taxes can be complicated, and sometimes you may realise you made an error on your return. IRS allows taxpayers to amend their returns to correct mistakes or omissions. 

In this blog post, we will tell you all you need to know about amending your tax return, including the rules set by the IRS and how-to on electronic filing. 

We will also address some common questions, such as how many amended returns can be filed electronically and what forms are required with an electronically filed amended return. 

So, if you have made an unintentional mistake on your tax return or forgot to report something, keep reading to learn how to amend it and avoid any penalties from the IRS appropriately.

Can I file my amended return electronically?

Unfortunately, electronic filing is not available for amended tax returns. You must file a paper 1040-X form and include any required forms or schedules. You can amend your taxes when the original tax return was prepared using Forms

  • 1040
  • 1040-SR
  • 1040A
  • 1040EZ
  • 1040EZ-T
  • 1040NR 
  • 1040NR-EZ

Remember that the IRS may take up to 16 weeks to process your amended return. 

What are the reasons that an amended return cannot be filed electronically?

Amended tax returns can only sometimes be filed electronically due to changes in filing status or foreign addresses, certain tax credits, and the need to mail an amendment if the original was filed by mail. Only the most recent revision will be processed, and e-filing is unavailable for pre-2017 tax years.

What is the process for electronically submitting my amended return?

To e-file an amended tax return, use software that supports amended returns or the IRS's Online Form 1040-X tool. Provide accurate information and attachments, and track your return status with the "Where's My Amended Return?" tool.

What is the maximum number of amended returns that can be submitted electronically?

Starting in 2022, taxpayers can e-file up to three amended returns. The IRS advises filing electronically as it minimises mistakes and processing duration. However, electronic filing isn't an option if the original return was filed on paper. For over three amended returns, mail them to the IRS.

Can I file my amended return electronically for previous tax years?

Unfortunately, electronic filing for previous years' amended tax returns is impossible. You must fill out Form 1040-X and mail it to the IRS with the required documents or forms. 

What forms are required with an electronically filed amended return?

To file an amended return electronically, include Form 1040-X and any supporting forms or schedules being changed. Also, submit any additional tax payments or refund requests.  

Is a new Form 8879 required when electronically filing Form 1040-X?

When electronically filing Form 1040-X, a new Form 8879 is necessary. This form serves as an electronic signature authorization and must be signed and dated by both the taxpayer and tax preparer for each amended return. It's crucial to submit a properly signed Form 8879 to ensure the timely processing of the amended return by the IRS.

Is direct deposit available for electronically filed Form 1040-X?

If you file Form 1040-X electronically, you can opt for direct deposit to receive your refund or pay any owed taxes. Just include your bank account and routing numbers on the form. Direct deposit is a secure and speedy option, but verify your banking info before submitting the form.

What is the process for verifying the status of my amended tax return that was filed electronically?

You have two options to check the status of your electronically-filed amended return. Firstly, you can visit the IRS website and provide your Social Security number, date of birth, and zip code. Alternatively, you can dial the IRS toll-free number. 

Can I submit Form 8888, which allocates refunds, including savings bond purchases, and an amended return?

It is possible to file Form 8888, which directs tax refunds into multiple accounts or purchases savings bonds, with an amended tax return. However, attaching a copy of the original return and any forms or schedules being changed is crucial, ensuring all necessary forms and attachments are included.

In case of an electronically filed amended return, kindly advise on the mailing address for a paper check and if it is necessary to use a Form 1040-V Payment Voucher. The information provided should remain unchanged.

To mail a paper check for an amended return, find the correct address on the IRS website and include a completed Form 1040-V Payment Voucher. Write your name, social security number, and "Form 1040-X" on the memo line. 

When can I start utilising the Where's My Amended Return tool to inquire about the status of an electronically filed amended return?

After electronically filing an amended return, you can typically use the Where's My Amended Return app within three weeks. Paper filers may need to wait three weeks for processing. The app offers status updates, but if you are still waiting to hear back after 16 weeks, contact the IRS for help.

What happens when my amended return's status shows as adjusted?

If your amended tax return's status shows as adjusted, the IRS has reviewed it and made changes, which could result in a refund or additional tax liability. You will receive a notice explaining the adjustments, and if you disagree, you can request an appeals conference or file a petition with the Tax Court.

What happens when my amended return status shows as completed?

Once your amended return shows as completed, it means that the IRS has finished reviewing it. In a few weeks, the IRS will send you a notice detailing any changes made to your tax return. If you're owed a refund, it will be issued after processing your amended return. It's vital to pay any additional taxes promptly to avoid penalties and interest.


Filing an amended return electronically is a convenient and fast way to correct mistakes on your tax returns. However, not all amended returns can be filed electronically. You will need to provide additional forms and documentation depending on your situation. Only one amended return can be filed electronically per tax year, so ensure you have everything in order before submitting. 

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