Posted by Elliot Kravitz, ATP

When to Use Form 1040

When to Use Form 1040

Taxpayers are allowed to amend tax returns using the form 1040x if the following cases occur: a mistake was found in the tax return, failure to file eligible deductions or credit, or missed to take account of certain income. Taxpayers do not need to complete an all-new tax return when making the 1040x form. The form merely needs taxpayers to correct the numbers to be altered.

When you can file

Amendment of the taxes can be done provided that the original tax return was prepared through the below forms:






1040NR or


Take note that it is required to file a different Form 1040x for each tax season if the modification will affect multiple tax returns.

How you can benefit

The Form 1040x will function as an official claim for a refund once it will be used to claim supplementary credits or deductions or to rectify mistakes that lessen the total tax payable for that specific year.  Moreover, the form can also be used to carry forward net operating losses of several small businesses that take place in one of the succeeding tax years. Keep a sharp lookout for your refund after 8 to 12 weeks as it would be the estimated processing time of an amendment as per the IRS.

Information needed

A copy of the original tax return that is going to be amended is an immensely helpful document that is necessary for preparing the Form 1040x. Certain original details like the Social Security numbers, filing status, and gross income may also be transferred toward the amendment tax return.

Any documents that support your modifications are also necessary. It could possibly be proof of payment for a new deduction of the claims and for the extra income that is needed to be reported will be the additional W-2.

If in case the original tax return has already affixed some schedules, it is not required to fill it out again except if the changes result in the alteration of the numbers over it. 

Time limitations for filing

The time frame for filing an amended tax return was restricted by the IRS. The majority of taxpayers can choose to file it either within 3 years of the original filing deadline or within 2 years of the exact payment of the tax for the year.

On the contrary, if in case an extension to file was obtained and the filing of the original tax return was done beyond the deadline, therefore the start for the 3year period will be the exact date the tax was filed. Additional years will be given on top of the 3years if an individual is handicapped or otherwise incapacitated, in accordance with the situation.

Refund from Amendment

Supposing that the reason for the amendment of the return is to receive an extra tax refund, any refund you receive in that time can be cash out or can be deposited directly. Nevertheless, filing of the amending return must be done after the refund was received. The IRS usually takes 16 weeks to process an amended return, therefore checking for any updates of the filed new amendment return must be done after 10 weeks. Taxpayers will receive any amount owed to him when the amended return was successfully processed.

In case the amended return check did not arrive after 12 weeks, it is best to reach the IRS customer support line to receive an update on the return by dialling 1-800-829-1040.  In order to have the opportunity to talk to a live person at the IRS, don’t forget to press 1 (for English), press 0 (zero), press 0 (zero) when you call their hotline. The IRS is open every weekday (Monday till Fridays) and the finest hour to reach them is between 7-9 AM and 6-7 PM.

Below are the pointers from the IRS for the taxpayers with regards to the Form 1040x.

  1. Taxpayers must wait for the first refund to be received. Before filing Form 1040x, makes sure that the first refund check that is included in the original tax return was received first. Do not hesitate to cash out the first refund check, because a second separate check will be issued by the IRS if it was justified.

  1. Remember that the amendment period is 3 years and the Form 1040x must be filed within the period. If in case the modification will alter the refund total, the form must be filed either within 3 years of the original filing deadline or within 2 years of the exact date of the payment of the tax for the year whichever comes first. Note that the official due date of the tax season generally falls on the 15th day of April, and all returns filed early will be counted as filed on the said due date.



Elliot Kravitz, ATP
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