Amended income tax returns will soon be eligible to be efiled

If you are planning to amend an income tax return you may want to wait until they are eligible to be efiled.

Normally, amended returns can take up to 16 weeks to be processed after they have been received by the IRS.  However, some amended returns have taken longer than 16 weeks for several reasons.

The Internal Revenue Service announced that later this summer taxpayers will for the first time be able to file their Form 1040-X, amended income tax return, electronically using available tax software products.

Making the 1040-X an electronically filed form has been a goal of the IRS for a number of years.  It's also been an ongoing request from the nation's tax professional community and has been a continuing recommendation from the Internal Revenue Service Advisory Council (IRSAC) and Electronic Tax Administration Advisory Committee (ETAAC).

Currently, taxpayers must mail a completed Form 1040-X 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.

"This new process is a major milestone for the IRS, and it follows hard work by people across the agency," said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig.  "E-filing has been one of the great success stories of the IRS, and more than 90 percent of taxpayers use it routinely.  But the big hurdle that's been remaining for years is to convert amended returns into this electronic process.  Our teams have worked diligently to overcome the unique challenges related to the 1040-X, and we look forward to offering this new service this summer."

About 3 million Forms 1040-X are filed by taxpayers each year.

The new electronic filing option will provide the IRS with more complete and accurate data in an easily readable format to enable customer service representatives to answer taxpayers' questions.  Taxpayers can still use the “Where’s My Amended Return?” online tool to check the status of their electronically filed 1040-X.

When the electronic filing option becomes available, only tax year 2019 Forms 1040 can be amended electronically.  In general, taxpayers will still have the option to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and should follow the instructions.

"Adding amended returns to the electronic family also complements our partnership with the tax software industry, which continues to work with us to provide better ways to help taxpayers," said Ken Corbin, Commissioner of the IRS Wage and Investment division.

Amended tax returns normally take up to 16 weeks to be processed, but due to the pandemic it could take much longer.

Consequently, waiting until efiling becomes available later this summer should be the quickest method to amend a 2019 income tax return.

Some people think that amending a return will result in an audit.  However, I have amended many tax returns every year for the past 30 years and have never had one audited.

David Zubler is a tax accountant and Enrolled Agent representing clients before the IRS with over 25 years of tax experience. He is the author of four tax books and is the founder and president of Your Tax Care. The company provides business and tax education to the public at its website, David can also be contacted by email at