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I forgot to claim standard deductions of $12000 (nonresident alien, for Indian students) on my 2018 1040NR. So I am filing a 1040X. For the incorrectly filed 1040NR I received a $600 refund, but in reality (after correction) I should be getting $2010. So after 1040X, I expect $1410 to be refunded.

However, I saw in the instructions that when filing 1040X as a nonresident alien, I should only fill out the name, address, and ITIN/SSN on page 1, and the reason in part III on page 2.

So, if I should not fill out income/tax/payments etc. on page 1, where do I enter the amount $1410 that should be refunded?

In my amended 1040NR, line 72 amounts to $2010, so I could say in line 73 that I want $1410 to be refunded. But then how does the IRS know that this is the net refund? It would be nice to have a spot to enter that I have received $600 in refund, but you missed $1410 due to my negligence (like you would on 1040X page 1, but apparently I should not fill it). Any suggestions?

Also, why should I file 8843? I didn't file it with my original 1040NR.

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For 3 years after the filing date, there's no such thing as "your negligence". You are allowed to amend your taxes using Form 1040X for any reason, or no reason at all. So if you see a deduction you missed, by all means! File a 1040X and claim it.

After 3 years, you can amend it, but they won't pay you any more refunds.

You should write a completely new set of your original tax forms, with the changes you wish to make. (feel free to photocopy them and just alter the relevant numbers - but don't miss any!) Now you have old and new lying alongside each other, use that data to fill in the 1040X.

Obviously, you need to submit enough information to show them what you changed.

You also need to clearly explain the reason for the change.

You don't need to send in the revised 1040 that you did as a scratchpad. However, if any schedules were added or amended to support your change, you do need to send those in. If the 8843 is not part of your original or amended tax return, then you don't need to include it -- however, if the IRS is telling you to include it, then you need to do that... and that'd be a big huge hint that you made a mistake on your taxes and IRS is suggesting that you should fix it! Might be worth running this by a tax professional.

  • Thanks for answering. A naive follow-up: If I file 1040X for 1040NR, do I also then file a 1040X (or a similar form?!) for state return? – toonishwarhead Nov 12 '19 at 21:03
  • Ah, I looked it up. I think it is called Schedule X, which appears to be state specific. – toonishwarhead Nov 12 '19 at 21:13
  • @toonishwarhead Yes, the 1040X-equivalent is named something different at every state. Harmonization fail... – Harper - Reinstate Monica Nov 12 '19 at 21:26
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So, if I should not fill out income/tax/payments etc. on page 1, where do I enter the amount $1410 that should be refunded?

I'm not sure, but one possibility would be that it is not entered anywhere, and the IRS will look at how much you paid before, and calculate a refund based on that.

Also, why should I file 8843?

International students are "exempt individuals" (exempt from the Substantial Presence Test) for their time on student status unless they have been an exempt individual as a student or intern for some part of 5 previous calendar years. During years that you have been an exempt individual for any part of the year, you must file Form 8843.

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