How to Revise a Federal Tax Form for Dependent Claims

By: Emma Watkins

Refer to the original 1040 you amend your return.

Form 1040 Tax Forms image by Viola Joyner from

Internal Revenue Service Form 1040X amends your tax return to correct your filing status and earned income, as well as the deductions, credits and dependents you originally claimed. In instances where you discover you should revise miscalculations or submit documentation to support your return, the IRS instructs you not to file Form 1040X. The federal revenue agency corrects math mistakes and requests missing documents on its own.

Step 1

Download Form 1040X and its instructions from Print or save them to your computer. The IRS does not accept electronic submissions of Form 1040X, but the PDF file it provides allows you to type into the form and save the information.

Step 2

Check the box next to the year that applies to the tax return you are amending on Form 1040X. To correct a return more than four years in the past, write the year in the space provided on page 1. Add your name and your spouse’s, if applicable, in the area that follows. Include the address and Social Security numbers of each person filing the return. Provide your filing status even if you are not amending it.

Step 3

Go to Part I of Form 1040X, “Exemptions,” to amend your dependent claims. Complete all of the lines in this section, providing the information in the original tax return in column A. In column B, state the net change after the revision. Write the amended number in column C. If you initially filed with one exemption and you want to amend your return to claim three, for example, the number in column A should be 1. Put a 2 in column B and a 3 in C. Also in Part I, write the names of the dependents you are claiming even if you included them in the initial return. Leave out anyone you no longer wish to include as a dependent and add new individuals that should be on your list. If your dependents qualify for the child tax credit, check the box provided next to their names. Add their Social Security numbers to column B. Use a separate sheet to claim more than four dependents and include the same information Form 1040X asks for.

Step 4

Explain the reason for the amended return in Part III of Form 1040X.

Step 5

Sign and date your amended tax return. If filing jointly, your spouse must also sign it. If you owe more in taxes as a result of amending your dependent claims, write a check to the Internal Revenue Service to mail with Form 1040X.

Step 6

Consult the instructions for Form 1040X for the appropriate mailing address, which is determined by where you live as well as by other criteria. Mail the form in, and a check, if applicable.

Items you will need

  • Original tax return
  • Form 1040X
  • Form 1040X instructions


  • Your state tax return may also need to be amended as a result of changes you make to your federal return. The IRS and your state revenue agency may assess interest and penalties if the mistake you made in your original return caused you to underpay them.

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About the Author

Emma Watkins writes on finance, fitness and gardening. Her articles and essays have appeared in "Writer's Digest," "The Writer," "From House to Home," "Big Apple Parent" and other online and print venues. Watkins holds a Master of Arts in psychology.

Photo Credits

  • Form 1040 Tax Forms image by Viola Joyner from

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