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What does it mean to "amend" a return?

Although many taxpayers equate "amending" with "changing," the word "amend" has a very specific, narrowly-defined meaning in the world of taxes:

Amend (verb) – To make changes to an e-filed return that has either been accepted by the government or a paper return that has already been mailed. An amendment must be filed on a specific tax form created exclusively for that purpose (for example, Form 1040X is used to amend federal 1040 returns).

According to this definition, making changes to a return that hasn't been accepted or mailed yet isn't amending. For this reason, you can't amend an e-filed return that's in pending or rejected status.

If your return has been accepted and you need to amend it, we have instructions on how to amend.

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