General Line Instructions
An important part of the 1040X instructions for dummies is to read page 5 of the instruction booklet. This page provides general guidance for basic corrections and shows you which lines on the form you must pay attention to.
List the year you are amending in the section above your name. This tells the IRS which year to look for. List the social security numbers in the exact order you used on the original return.
Always fill out the top of Page 1 on the 1040X down to “Amended Return Filing Status" regardless of what you are changing.
Use the instructions from the original 1040 series form and correct year to ensure you use the right calculations for tax. Since IRS rules seem to change yearly having the correct instructions for the year you are amending is important.
If you are changing numbers or math on your 1040X, you want to use the quick guide on page 6 of the instruction booklet. This guide tells you specifically what lines will be filled out on your 1040X when you are changing numbers on certain lines from your original return.
If you are not changing anything, but wish to add something, most of the form is irrelevant. Fill in the areas for the filing year, personal identification, and if you want to support the Presidential Election Fund. Then, go straight to Part III of the form. Part III is the explanation of the changes you are creating.