General Instructions

Form 1040X will be your new tax return, changing your original return to include new information. The entries you make on Form 1040X under the columns headed Correct amount and Correct number or amount are the entries you would have made on your original return had it been done correctly.

Many find the easiest way to figure the entries for Form 1040X is to first make the changes in the margin of the return you are amending.

To complete Form 1040X, you will need:

  • Form 1040X and these separate instructions;

  • A copy of the return you are amending (for example, 2011 Form 1040), including supporting forms, schedules, and any worksheets you completed;

  • Notices from the IRS on any adjustments to that return; and

  • Instructions for the return you are amending. If you don't have the instructions, you can order them by calling 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). You can also find them online at www.irs.gov/formspubs. If you are amending a prior year return, click on “Prior Year Forms & Pubs.

Purpose of Form

Use Form 1040X to do the following.

  • Correct Forms 1040, 1040A, 1040EZ, 1040NR, or 1040NR-EZ.

  • Make certain elections after the prescribed deadline (see Regulations sections 301.9100-1 through -3 for details).

  • Change amounts previously adjusted by the IRS. However, do not include any interest or penalties on Form 1040X; they will be adjusted accordingly.

  • Make a claim for a carryback due to a loss or unused credit. However, you may be able to use Form 1045, Application for Tentative Refund, instead of Form 1040X. For more information, see Loss or credit carryback under When To File, later, and the discussion on carryback claims under Special Situations, later.

File a separate Form 1040X for each year you are amending. If you are changing your federal return, you also may need to change your state return.

Note.

Allow 8 to 12 weeks for Form 1040X to be processed.

If you file Form 1040X claiming a refund or credit for more than the allowable amount, you may be subject to a penalty of 20% of the disallowed amount. See Penalty for erroneous refund claim or credit under Interest and Penalties, later.

Do not file Form 1040X if you are requesting a refund of penalties and interest or an addition to tax that you have already paid. Instead, file Form 843, Claim for Refund and Request for Abatement.

Do not file Form 1040X to request a refund of your share of a joint overpayment that was offset against a past-due obligation of your spouse. Instead, file Form 8379, Injured Spouse Allocation. But if you are filing Form 1040X to request an additional refund after filing Form 8379, see Injured spouse claim under Special Situations, later.

Interest and Penalties

Interest.   The IRS will charge you interest on taxes not paid by their due date, even if you had an extension of time to file. The IRS will also charge you interest on penalties imposed for failure to file, negligence, fraud, substantial valuation misstatements, substantial understatements of tax, and reportable transaction understatements. Interest is charged on the penalty from the due date of the return (including extensions).

Penalty for late payment of tax.   If you do not pay the additional tax due on Form 1040X within 21 calendar days from the date of notice and demand for payment (10 business days from that date if the amount of tax is $100,000 or more), the penalty is usually ½ of 1% of the unpaid amount for each month or part of a month the tax is not paid. The penalty can be as much as 25% of the unpaid amount and applies to any unpaid tax on the return. This penalty is in addition to interest charges on late payments. You will not have to pay the penalty if you can show reasonable cause for not paying your tax on time.

Penalty for erroneous refund claim or credit.   If you file a claim for refund or credit in excess of the amount allowable, you may have to pay a penalty equal to 20% of the disallowed amount, unless you can show a reasonable basis for the way you treated an item. The penalty will not be figured on any part of the disallowed amount of the claim that relates to the earned income credit or on which accuracy-related or fraud penalties are charged.

Penalty for frivolous return.   In addition to any other penalties, the law imposes a penalty of $5,000 for filing a frivolous return. A frivolous return is one that does not contain information needed to figure the correct tax or shows a substantially incorrect tax because you take a frivolous position or desire to delay or interfere with the tax laws. This includes altering or striking out the preprinted language above the space where you sign. For a list of positions identified as frivolous, see Notice 2010-33, 2010-17 I.R.B. 609, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2010-17_IRB/ar13.html.

Other penalties.   Other penalties can be imposed for negligence, substantial understatement of tax, reportable transaction understatements, and fraud. See Pub. 17, Your Federal Income Tax, for more information.

When To File

File Form 1040X only after you have filed your original return. Generally, for a credit or refund, you must file Form 1040X within 3 years (including extensions) after the date you filed your original return or within 2 years after the date you paid the tax, whichever is later. If you filed your original return early (for example, March 1 for a calendar year return), your return is considered filed on the due date (generally April 15). However, if you had an extension to file (for example, until October 15) but you filed earlier and we received it July 1, your return is considered filed on July 1.

Note.

The time limit for filing Form 1040X can be suspended for certain people who are physically or mentally unable to manage their financial affairs. For details, see Pub. 556, Examination of Returns, Appeal Rights, and Claims for Refund.

Do not file more than one original return for the same year, even if you have not received your refund or have not heard from the IRS since you filed. Filing more than one original return for the same year, or sending in more than one copy of the same return (unless we ask you to do so), could delay your refund.

Bad debt or worthless security.   A Form 1040X based on a bad debt or worthless security generally must be filed within 7 years after the due date of the return for the tax year in which the debt or security became worthless. For more details, see section 6511.

Foreign tax credit or deduction.   A Form 1040X to claim or change a foreign tax credit or deduction for foreign taxes generally must be filed within 10 years from the due date for filing the return (without regard to any extension of time to file) for the year in which the foreign taxes were actually paid or accrued. For details, see Pub. 514, Foreign Tax Credit for Individuals.

Note.

This extended period for filing Form 1040X applies only to amounts affected by changes in your foreign tax credit or deduction.

  If you are filing Form 1040X to carry back your unused foreign tax credit, follow the procedures under Loss or credit carryback next.

Loss or credit carryback.   File either Form 1045 or Form 1040X to apply for a refund based on either an overpayment of tax due to a claim of right adjustment under section 1341(b)(1) or the carryback of a net operating loss, an unused general business credit, or a net section 1256 contracts loss. If you use Form 1040X, see the special instructions for carryback claims in these instructions under Special Situations, later. A Form 1040X based on a net operating loss or capital loss carryback or a credit carryback generally must be filed within 3 years (10 years for carryback of foreign tax credit or deduction) after the due date of the return (including extensions) for the tax year of the net operating loss, capital loss, or unused credit. If you use Form 1045, you must file the claim within 1 year after the end of the year in which the loss, credit, or claim of right adjustment arose. For more details, see the Instructions for Form 1045.

Reducing a casualty loss deduction after receiving hurricane-related grant.   You must file Form 1040X by the due date (as extended) for filing your tax return for the tax year in which you received the grant. For more information, see Reimbursement received for hurricane-related casualty loss under Special Situations, later.

Retroactive determination of nontaxable disability pay.   Retired members of the uniformed services whose retirement pay, in whole or in part, is retroactively determined by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to be nontaxable disability pay can file claims for credits or refunds using Form 1040X. You have until the later of (a) 1 year after the determination date, if the year at issue is no more than 5 years before the determination date, or (b) the normal deadline for filing a claim for refund or credit. The normal deadline is the later of 3 years after filing the original return or 2 years after paying the tax. Attach a copy of an official letter from the VA granting the retroactive determination of nontaxable disability pay.

Special Situations

Many amended returns deal with situations that have special qualifications or special rules that must be followed. The items that follow give you this specialized information so your amended return can be filed and processed correctly.

Only the special procedures are given here. Unless otherwise stated, you still must complete all appropriate lines on Form 1040X, as discussed under Line Instructions, later.

Additional Medicare Tax.   Beginning in 2013, a 0.9% Additional Medicare Tax applies to Medicare wages, railroad retirement (RRTA) compensation, and self-employment income that are more than:
  • $125,000 if married filing separately,

  • $250,000 if married filing jointly, or

  • $200,000 for any other filing status.

  If your Medicare wages, railroad retirement (RRTA) compensation, or self-employment income is adjusted, you may need to correct your liability, if any, for Additional Medicare Tax. When correcting Additional Medicare Tax liability, attach to Form 1040X a corrected Form 8959, Additional Medicare Tax, and, if correcting Medicare wages or railroad retirement (RRTA) compensation, attach Form W-2 or Form W-2c. For more information, see the Instructions for Form 8959.

Carryback claim—net operating loss (NOL).   Enter “Carryback Claim” at the top of page 1 of Form 1040X. Attach a computation of your NOL using Schedule A (Form 1045) and a computation of any NOL carryover using Schedule B (Form 1045). A refund based on an NOL does not include a refund of self-employment tax reported on Form 1040X, line 9. For details, see Pub. 536, Net Operating Losses (NOLs) for Individuals, Estates, and Trusts.

Note.

Interest will not be paid on any NOL refund shown on an amended return processed within 45 days of receipt.

Carryback claim—credits and other losses.   Enter “Carryback Claim” at the top of page 1 of Form 1040X. Attach copies of the following.
  • Both pages of Form 1040 and Schedules A and D, if applicable, for the year in which the loss or credit originated. Enter “Attachment to Form 1040X—Copy Only—Do Not Process” at the top of these forms.

  • Any Schedules K-1 you received from any partnership, S corporation, estate, or trust for the year of the loss or credit that contributed to the loss or credit carryback.

  • Any form or schedule from which the carryback results, such as Form 3800, General Business Credit; Form 1116, Foreign Tax Credit; Form 6781, Gains and Losses From Section 1256 Contracts and Straddles; Form 4684, Casualties and Thefts; or Schedule C or F (Form 1040).

  • Forms or schedules for items refigured in the carryback year, such as Form 6251, Alternative Minimum Tax—Individuals; Form 3800; or Schedule A (Form 1040).

Note.

If you were married and you did not have the same filing status (married filing jointly or married filing separately) for all of the years involved in figuring the loss or credit carryback, you may have to allocate income, deductions, and credits. For details, see the publication for the type of carryback you are claiming. For example, for NOL carrybacks, see Pub. 536.

  
You must attach all appropriate forms and schedules to Form 1040X or it will be returned.

Deceased taxpayer.   If filing Form 1040X for a deceased taxpayer, enter “Deceased,” the deceased taxpayer's name, and the date of death across the top of Form 1040X, page 1.

  If you are filing a joint return as a surviving spouse, enter “Filing as surviving spouse” in the area where you sign the return. If someone else is the personal representative, he or she must also sign.

Claiming a refund for a deceased taxpayer.

If you are filing a joint return as a surviving spouse, you only need to file Form 1040X to claim the refund. If you are a court-appointed personal representative or any other person claiming the refund, file Form 1040X and attach Form 1310, Statement of Person Claiming Refund Due a Deceased Taxpayer, and any other information required by its instructions. For more details, see Pub. 559, Survivors, Executors, and Administrators.

First-time homebuyer credit.   If you meet the requirements for the first-time homebuyer credit, you can amend your return to take the credit in the prior year.

Homes purchased in 2010.

Use the December 2010 revision of Form 5405 to claim the credit on your 2010 amended return for a home you purchased:

  • After December 31, 2009, and before May 1, 2010, or

  • After April 30, 2010, and before October 1, 2010, and you entered into a binding contract before May 1, 2010, to purchase the property before July 1, 2010.

Homes purchased by persons on qualified official extended duty outside the United States.

This only applies to members of the uniformed services or Foreign Service or employees of the intelligence community who meet the following conditions.

  1. You (or your spouse if married) were a member of the uniformed services or Foreign Service or an employee of the intelligence community, and

  2. You were on qualified official extended duty outside the United States for at least 90 days during the period beginning after December 31, 2008, and ending before May 1, 2010.

If you meet these conditions, you can choose to claim the credit on your 2010 return for a home you purchased:

  • After December 31, 2009, and before May 1, 2011, or

  • After April 30, 2011, and before July 1, 2011, and you entered into a binding contract before May 1, 2011, to purchase the property before July 1, 2011.

For the definitions of a member of the uniformed services or Foreign Service, or an employee of the intelligence community, and qualified official extended duty, see the Instructions for Form 5405.

Household employment taxes.   If you are correcting the amount of employment taxes you paid to household employees, attach Schedule H (Form 1040) and include in Part III of Form 1040X the date the error was discovered. If you owe tax, pay in full with this return. If you are changing the wages paid to an employee for whom you filed Form W-2, you must also file Form W-2c, Corrected Wage and Tax Statement, and Form W-3c, Transmittal of Corrected Wage and Tax Statements, with the Social Security Administration. For more information, see Pub. 926, Household Employer's Tax Guide, for the appropriate year.

Injured spouse claim.   If you file Form 1040X to request an additional refund and you do not want your portion of the overpayment to be applied (offset) against your spouse's past-due obligation(s), complete and attach another Form 8379 to allocate the additional refund.

Qualified reservist distributions.   Reservists called to active duty after September 11, 2001, can claim a refund of any 10% additional tax paid on an early distribution from a qualified retirement plan.

  To make this claim:
  • You must have been ordered or called to active duty after September 11, 2001, for more than 179 days or for an indefinite period,

  • The distribution from a qualified retirement plan must have been made on or after the date you were ordered or called to active duty and before the close of your active duty period, and

  • The distribution must have been from an IRA, or from amounts attributable to elective deferrals under a section 401(k) or 403(b) plan or a similar arrangement.

  Eligible reservists should enter “Active Duty Reservist” at the top of page 1 of Form 1040X. In Part III, include the date called to active duty, the amount of the retirement distribution, and the amount of the early distribution tax paid. For more information, see Pub. 590, Individual Retirement Arrangements (IRAs), for distributions from IRAs; and Pub. 575, Pension and Annuity Income, for distributions from elective deferral plans.

Reimbursement received for hurricane-related casualty loss.   If you claimed a casualty loss on your main home resulting from Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, or Wilma, and later received a qualified grant as reimbursement for that loss, you can file an amended return for the year the casualty loss deduction was claimed (and for any tax year to which the deduction was carried) to reduce the casualty loss deduction (but not below zero) by the amount of the reimbursement. To qualify, your grant must have been issued under Public Law 109-148, 109-234, or 110-116. Examples of qualified grants are the Louisiana Road Home Grants and the Mississippi Development Authority Hurricane Katrina Homeowner Grants.

  At the top of page 1 of Form 1040X, enter “Hurricane Grant Relief” in dark, bold letters. Include the following materials with your amended return.
  1. Proof of the amount of any hurricane relief grant received.

  2. A completed Form 2848, Power of Attorney and Declaration of Representative, if you wish to have your designated representative speak with us. (Do not include this if a valid Form 2848 is already on file with the IRS that covers the same tax year and tax matters.)

  
Do not include on Form 1040X any adjustments other than the reduction of the casualty loss deduction if the period of limitations on assessment is closed for the tax year in which you claimed the casualty loss deduction. Generally, this period is closed if it is more than 3 years after the return was filed and more than 2 years after the tax was paid.

Waiver of penalties and interest.

If you pay the entire balance due on your amended return within 1 year of timely filing your amended return, no interest or penalties will be charged on the balance due. Payments made after you file Form 1040X should clearly designate that the payment is to be applied to reduce the balance due shown on the Form 1040X per IRS Notice 2008-95.

Special rule for previously filed amended returns.

In order to receive the benefits discussed in this section, you must notify the IRS if you previously filed an amended return based on receiving one of the grants mentioned earlier. For instructions on how to notify the IRS, see Notice 2008-95, 2008-44 I.R.B. 1076, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2008-44_IRB/ar09.html.

Relief for homeowners with corrosive drywall.   If you suffered property losses due to the effects of certain imported drywall installed in homes between 2001 and 2009, you may be able to file an amended return to claim a casualty loss for repairs made to your personal residence or household appliances. For further information on claiming this loss, see Rev. Proc. 2010-36, 2010-42 I.R.B. 439, available at www.irs.gov/irb/2010-42_IRB/ar11.html.

Resident and nonresident aliens.   Use Form 1040X to amend Form 1040NR or Form 1040NR-EZ. Also, use Form 1040X if you should have filed Form 1040, 1040A, or 1040EZ instead of Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ, or vice versa.

  To amend Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ, or to file the correct return, do the following:
  • Enter your name, address, and social security number (SSN) or IRS individual taxpayer identification number (ITIN) on the front of Form 1040X.

  • Do not enter any other information on page 1. Also, do not complete Parts I or II on page 2 of Form 1040X.

  • Enter in Part III the reason why you are filing Form 1040X.

  • Complete a new or corrected return (Form 1040, Form 1040NR, etc.).

  • Across the top of the new or corrected return, write “Amended.

  • Attach the new or corrected return to the back of Form 1040X.

  For more information, see Pub. 519, U.S. Tax Guide for Aliens.

Signing your child's return.   If your child cannot sign the return, either parent can sign the child's name in the space provided. Then, enter “By (your signature), parent for minor child.

Tax shelters.   If you are amending your return to disclose information for a reportable transaction in which you participated, attach Form 8886, Reportable Transaction Disclosure Statement.

Where To File

If you are amending your return because of any of the situations listed next, use the corresponding address.

IF you are filing 
Form 1040X:
THEN mail Form 1040X 
and attachments to:
In response to a notice you received from the IRS The address shown 
in the notice
Because you received reimbursement for a hurricane-related loss Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Austin, TX 73301-0255
With Form 1040NR or 1040NR-EZ Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Austin, TX 73301-0215

If none of the situations listed above apply to you, mail your return to the Internal Revenue Service Center shown next that applies to you.

IF you live in: THEN mail Form 1040X 
and attachments to:
Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Austin, TX 73301-0052
Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, South Dakota, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin, Wyoming Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Fresno, CA 93888-0422
Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Missouri, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, West Virginia Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Kansas City, MO 64999-0052
A foreign country, U.S. possession or territory;* or use an APO or FPO address, or file Form 2555, 2555-EZ, or 4563; or are a dual-status alien Department of the Treasury 
Internal Revenue Service 
Austin, TX 73301-0215

*If you live in American Samoa, Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands, or the Northern Mariana Islands, see Pub. 570.

Tracking Your Amended Return

You can track the status of your amended return using our web or toll-free application. Go to IRS.gov and click on “Tools” and then on “Where's My Amended Return.” Or you can call 1-866-464-2050. Either way, you will need to provide the following information.

  • Your Taxpayer Identification Number (for most taxpayers that is their social security number).

  • Your date of birth.

  • Your ZIP code.


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