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Processing an amended return is still a manual process estimated at about 20 weeks for paper and e-filed amended returns, but taxpayers can now opt for direct deposit on any refunds, potentially cutting their refund wait time.
‘Big win for taxpayers’
The announcement was made earlier this week and was touted as a “big win for taxpayers, and a great achievement as the IRS begins to transform the taxpayer experience”. Until this point, filers of a 1040-X amended return had to wait for a paper check for any refund, adding extra time to the process and subjecting themselves to potential delays due to mail backlogs and other hurdles.
According to the IRS, there are about 3 million amended returns each year, and this important update will reduce refund wait time and inconvenience for those filing amended returns. Direct deposit is always encouraged so that taxpayers can receive their refund as quickly as possible without the potential for a paper check to be lost or stolen.
The IRS adapts to the times
The IRS initially began accepting 1040-X forms electronically in 2020, but taxpayers were not allowed to select direct deposit for their refund. Technology updates at the Service will allow those who filed amended returns electronically to receive their refunds faster and more securely through direct deposit in their bank accounts. Filers will simply enter their banking or financial institution information, similar to the process for receiving other refunds.
Taxpayers who file an original tax return using tax prep software can also file an electronic Form 1040-X if the software allows for it.
Paper is still an option
Taxpayers will still be able to submit a paper version of Form 1040-X and receive a paper check if they desire. They can follow the instructions for preparing and submitting the paper form. Direct deposit isn't available on amended returns submitted on paper.
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