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What is an amended tax form and do I need to file one by 2020? What to know


If you’ve made a mistake on your tax return, you may need to file a custom tax form.

Angela Lang / CNET

The tax season has been complicated this year, to say the least. Not only did people apply for missing out on incentive money on their 2020 tax returns as a Credit for chargeback discount – even those who do not usually have to file taxes — a the third stimulus check began to go out also in the middle of this. Plus, the Incentive package for March contains some new tax benefits and rebates linked to your taxes, which makes it extra confusing for people who already filed a tax return this year. And then the tax term was shifted from April 15 to May 17

All of the changes brought up the subject of the amended tax form – a form you can file with the IRS if you discover an error after filing your return. However, the IRS has warned against using this form for changes such as the Supplementary child discount funds and tax breaks for unemployment

So how do you know if you need to file an amended tax form to make sure you get the full amount you owe this year? We will break it down for you here.

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What is an amended tax form and when should you file one?

An amended tax form – formally called Form 1040-X, called Amended US Individual Income Tax Return – is used to correct tax forms 1040, 1040-A, 1040-EZ, 1040-NR, or 1040-NR EZ. You submit an amended tax return to correct any errors in your tax return.

For example, if there is a change in your tax return status, income, deductions, credits, or tax liability, you may want to file an amended form.

If you owe the IRS additional taxes and the due date for filing the return has not passed – in this case, you realize the mistake before May 17 – you can avoid paying the IRS fines and interest if you submit Form 1040-X submit and pay the additional amount for 2020. For example, you may have forgotten to claim earnings (such as from Form W-2 or 1099), or you have received a corrected information summary showing other earnings or deductions.


You don’t need to file an amended tax form to take advantage of the new expanded tax credit for kids.

Sarah Tew / CNET

Do I need to submit a modified tax form to get the full amount I owe for the 2021 child tax credit, unemployment tax benefits, and other benefits?

When it comes to all the new provisions in the new stimulus package – including the extensive child discount earned income tax credit and tax breaks for unemployment – taxpayers must not submit an amended declaration.

“The IRS strongly urges taxpayers not to file amended returns regarding the new legal provisions or take other unnecessary steps at this time,” the IRS said on March 12.

The IRS has begun to create 2 million “plus-up” payments to people who are adapting to their third stimulus check total, as a result of changes in their taxes for 2020, the agency announced April 2.

The IRS will provide additional information about the provisions that may affect your 2020 return, including the retroactive provision that makes the first $ 10,200 of unemployment benefits in 2020 not taxableFor those who have not yet filed, the IRS will provide a worksheet for paper filers and work with tax software companies so that taxpayers can determine how to declare their unemployment income upon their return. Those who received unemployment benefits last year and have already filed their 2020 tax return should not file an amended tax return unless the IRS issues additional guidance later.

Payments should be automatic for those who submit their 2020 tax returns before May 17, the new tax term.

In terms of timing, when do I need to file an amended tax form?

Generally, to claim a refund, you must file Form 1040-X within three years from the date you filed your original return, or within two years from the date you paid the tax – whichever is the case. later, according to the IRS. However, there are special rules for recoveries related to net operating losses, foreign tax credits, bad debts and other issues.


The March incentive law included new tax breaks for people who have collected unemployment and more. And you don’t have to file an amended tax return to get them.

Sarah Tew / CNET

How to submit an amended tax form, if necessary?

You can submit Form 1040-X electronically using most tax software options on the marketOr you can submit a paper version. Find a full list of instructions from the IRS here. And keep in mind that if you make a change to your federal tax return, you may also need to change your state return.

Is it free to submit an amended tax form?

It depends. Some tax filing software allows you to change your tax return for free, but some will incur a fee. Make sure to read the fine print before getting started. If you use the IRS paperwork, you only have to pay to print the form and for postage.

How does the IRS handle my amended return?

You can track the status of your Form 1040-X for this year and up to three years prior to using the IRS’s online tool, or by calling the IRS at 866-464-2050 (although the IRS advises you not to to call). To keep track of it, you will need to enter your social security number, date of birth and zip code. However, keep in mind that it takes up to three weeks after you send the message for it to appear in the system, and processing can take up to 16 weeks.

Look for more information all the changes you can expect on your tax return this year, the new tax credits to which you may be entitled and what we know so far about a possible fourth stimulus check

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