Have you made a mistake on your US tax return?
Don’t worry, you’re not alone!
In fact, the IRS receives thousands of amended tax returns from nonresident international students, scholars and J program participants every year.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the reasons why you may need to file an amended tax return as well as how you can easily prepare IRS compliant documents online.
So, let’s get started!
When to amend your tax return?
A tax return may be considered ‘incorrect’ for many different reasons.
However, it’s important to note that you do not need to file a 1040X if you made a math error on your original return. The IRS will automatically correct such errors in their calculations.
Let’s take a look at some of the most common reasons why you may need to amend your tax return.
You filed under the wrong tax residency status
If you are a nonresident for tax purposes in the US you should file 1040NR or 1040NR EZ.
If you filed form 1040 this means you filed as a resident and your tax return is incorrect.
This is one of the most common reasons for tax return amendments.
NOTE: Most of the online tax filing solutions like TurboTax and H&R Block do not support NRA tax returns. If you filed online, most probably you field as a resident alien.
You received the CARES Act Economic Impact Payment in error
The CARES Act provides financial support that can be claimed by citizens of the US, permanent residents and residents for tax purposes.
This payment is not for nonresident aliens and they are not eligible to receive it.
If you have received this payment by mistake, you will need to return the payment to the IRS.
If the payment was sent to you due to the fact that you misfiled your 2018, 2019 or 2020 return as a resident alien on your 1040 form, you may also need to amend your tax return and file 1040X as a nonresident alien.
You want to correct the number of dependents you claimed for
You should file an amended tax return if you want to add or remove dependents from your previous tax return.
You want to correct your income and tax figures
You must file an amended tax return if you did not include details from all of your income documents (1099, W-2 etc.) for the tax year.
You want to claim additional credits or deductions
You should also amend your return to claim all of the allowable tax credits or deductions that you did not claim when you filed your original return.
You can also remove tax credits which were claimed in error.
How to amend your US tax return
In order to amend your tax return you must:
File a form 1040X
Correct the errors on your previous tax return
When amending your return you will need to have copies of your previous tax return as well as any additional income documents you need to report.
If you want to file an amended tax return for more than one year, you will need to use separate 1040X forms.
It’s important to remember that an amended tax return cannot be filed electronically, you will need to mail it to the IRS in paper form.
Keep in mind that you have three years from the day you filed your original return or two years after the taxes are paid for the relevant tax year to file an amended tax return for a refund.
If you don't expect to receive a tax refund you can amend any time within 10 years by using form 1040X.
Preparing your 1040X online
You can easily amend your US tax documents online by using Sprintax.
Sprintax is the US tax partner of Taxback.com and the only online tax preparation software for nonresidents in the US.
By using Sprintax you can:
Prepare your nonresident tax documents easily online (including federal, state, form 8843 and 1040X)
Claim your maximum US tax refund
Discuss your tax questions 24/7 with the Sprintax Live Chat team
How it works
To amend your tax return all you need to do is log in to Sprintax or create your account.
You will be asked to choose the tax year that you would like to amend. Just make sure to select the box that says ‘I want to correct my 2019/2018/2017 tax return.
You will then need to complete a short questionnaire. You will be asked for some information including your residency for tax purposes and your income for that specific tax year.
Finally, Sprintax will complete your amended tax return. To complete the process, simply download, print and sign your documents and mail them to the IRS.
To get started, create your Sprintax account here today.