In the latest improvement for taxpayers, the Internal Revenue Service has announced that people electronically filing their Form 1040-X, Amended U.S Individual Income Tax Return, will for the first time be able to select direct deposit for any resulting refund.
Previously, taxpayers who filed Form 1040-X with the IRS had to wait for a paper check for any refund, a step that added time onto the amended return process. Now, anyone who electronically files the Form 1040-X can select direct deposit and enter their banking or financial institution information for quicker delivery of refunds. Taxpayers file a total of approximately 3 million amended returns each year.
"This is a big win for taxpayers and another achievement as we transform the IRS to improve taxpayer experiences," said IRS Acting Commissioner Doug O'Donnell. "This important update will cut refund time and reduce inconvenience for people who file amended returns. We always encourage direct deposit whenever possible. Getting tax refunds into taxpayers' hands quickly without worry of a lost or stolen paper check just makes sense."
The IRS began accepting the Form 1040-X electronically in 2020 but until now did not offer direct deposit as an option for a refund. Following IRS system updates, those filing amended returns can now enjoy the same speed and security of direct deposit as those filing an original Form 1040 tax return. Taxpayers filing an original tax return using tax preparation software can file an electronic Form 1040-X if the software manufacturer offers that service.
This is the latest step the IRS is taking to improve service. As part of funding for the Inflation Reduction Act, the IRS has hired more than 5,000 new telephone assistors and is adding staff to IRS Taxpayer Assistance Centers (TACs).
No matter how a taxpayer files the amended return, they can still use the Where's My Amended Return? online tool to check the status.
Taxpayers still have the option to submit a paper version of the Form 1040-X and receive a paper check. They should follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form. Direct deposit is not available on amended returns submitted on paper.
Current processing time is more than 20 weeks for both paper and electronically filed amended returns, as processing an amended return remains a manual process even if it's filed electronically. However, filing electronically cuts out the mail time, and including direct deposit information on an electronically submitted form provides a convenient and secure way to receive refunds faster.