Amending your return means filing a new form, 1040X. This is only required in certain situations.
In other situations, you can change your original return and you should not file a new form. Don't amend if:
- You received a government notice that doesn't specifically tell you to amend (e.g. math error corrections, request for additional forms, etc.). Just follow the instructions in the notification.
- You entered the wrong bank account to get your refund.
- You received Forms 1095-B or 1095-C and the info matches what you reported on your return.
On the other hand, you will need to amend if you already mailed your return (or the government accepted your e-file) and:
- Your 2017 return was affected by the deductions or credits that were extended per The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018.
- You need to report a tax form you forgot about or received post-filing (most commonly a W-2, 1099, or 1095-A).
- You received a corrected tax form after filing (the "corrected" box is checked) and the new info changes your refund or tax due amount.
- You forgot to report income or claim dependents, deductions, or credits.
- You accidentally claimed dependents, deductions, or credits you're not eligible for.
- You made an error that affects your bottom line, such as reporting income or deductions in 2020 that should've been claimed in a prior tax year (in that case, you'll need to amend all affected tax years).
- You need to change your filing status (for example, you want to change from Single to Head of Household).
- We instructed you to amend because of a program error (uncommon).