When to amend a tax return
Many Americans have inaccuracies on their tax return that lead to a smaller refund than they deserve. While for some people that difference could be small, it can be significant for many others.
What are the biggest pitfalls keeping people from getting their maximum refund?
- Missed higher education tax credit – The American Opportunity Tax Credit is worth up to $2,500.
- Failing to claim legal dependents – For 2015, an exemption is $4,000 per dependent, the Child Tax Credit can be worth up to $1,000, and the Dependent Care Tax Credit may be as much as $2,100.
- Failing to claim the Earned Income Tax Credit – This refundable tax credit can be worth up to $6,242 for 2015.
Even just failing to file can be a big mistake. On average, a taxpayer due a refund who does not file a tax return loses $718.
The good news is that taxpayers have up to three years from the filing deadline to amend their return. They may still amend their 2013, 2014 and 2015 returns to get a refund.
It’s understandable if taxpayers don’t want to go through the trouble of amending a return if they don’t know if they made any mistakes. That’s where H&R Block’s Second Look comes in.
Taxpayers who prepared their returns themselves or had others prepare them can visit any of H&R Block’s approximately 10,000 U.S. offices for a free Second Look review of the three prior year returns. An H&R Block tax professional will determine if there are any mistakes or if they were eligible for credits that could have increased their refund. If H&R Block doesn’t find anything, the taxpayer doesn’t need to amend. If there is a mistake or overlooked tax benefit, the H&R Block tax professional can prepare a 1040X (amended return) for a fee.