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.
- Entered the wrong bank account to get your refund.
- Received Forms 1095-B or 1095-C and the info matches what you reported on your return.
- Want to update your unemployment income on your federal return as a result of the American Rescue Plan. The IRS will be making this change on your behalf. In fact, amending could impact your return and delay any additional refund you may be getting.
- Some people might be newly eligible for some income-based deductions and credits and should amend to claim them. Go here to learn if this applies to you.
- We’re still waiting on how individual states are handling these changes, and whether or not you’ll need to amend your state return for your unemployment income. Go here to see if you need to amend your state 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).