The Internal Revenue Service has announced that taxpayers can now submit Form 1040X electronically using commercial tax-filing software. Form 1040X is used when individual taxpayers want to file an amended tax return. It corrects, deletes, or adds information to a Form 1040 return that’s already been filed with the IRS.
The move comes after years of effort by the IRS to streamline the process of filing an amended return as more taxpayers use commercial tax prep software to file their own tax returns. The IRS said the enhancement would allow taxpayers to quickly correct their previously filed tax returns while minimizing errors. Prior to this change, taxpayers had to mail a completed Form 1040X to the IRS for processing. The new electronic option allows the IRS to receive amended returns faster while minimizing errors normally associated with manually completing the form.
The 1040X, Amended U.S. Individual Income Tax Return, has been one of the last major individual tax forms that needed to be paper filed. Making the 1040X an electronically filed form has been a goal for the tax software and tax professional industry for years. According to the agency, the delay in implementing Form 1040X has been due to the the complex nature of the form. “The ability to file the Form 1040X electronically has been an important long-term goal of the IRS e-file initiative for many years,” said Sunita Lough, IRS Deputy Commissioner for Services and Enforcement. “Given the details needed on the form, there have been numerous challenges to add this form to the e-file family. Our IT and business operation teams worked hard with the nation’s tax industry to make this change possible. This is another success for IRS modernization efforts. The addition helps taxpayers have a quicker, easier way to file amended returns, and it streamlines work for the IRS and the entire tax community.”
Since the tax-filing software allows users to input their data in a question-answer format, it simplifies the process for them. It also makes it easier for IRS employees to answer taxpayer questions since the data is entered electronically and submitted to the agency almost simultaneously.
“Adding the 1040-X to the e-filing portfolio provides a better experience for the taxpayer, all around. It makes submitting an amended return easier and it allows our employees to process it in a more efficient way,” said Ken Corbin, the IRS Wage and Investment commissioner and head of the division responsible for processing these returns.
Taxpayers still have the option to submit a paper version of the Form 1040X and should follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form. Those taxpayers who elect to file their Form 1040X electronically and on paper can use the “Where’s My Amended Return?“ online tool to check the status of their amended return.
The one condition to note is that, for now, only tax year 2019 Forms 1040 and 1040-SR returns can be amended electronically. IRS pledged to continue working to make additional improvements.