Taxpayers can amend returns to collect missed credits, deductions

Even if you've already filed your taxes for last year, you may have left some money on the table. Many professional tax preparers offer free tax reviews and may find credits or deductions you didn't take.

The IRS says 20% of households that qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit don't take it. That means they're missing out on anywhere from $529 to $6,557, depending on their qualifications and family size.


Families with children that have an annual income below $41,094 for a single parent or head of household, to $55,952 for a married couple filing jointly, may be eligible for the Earned Income Tax Credit. But working people without children can qualify, too, if your income is below $15,570 for individuals or $21,370 for married couples filing jointly. It's a refundable credit, so even if you owe no tax, the IRS will pay you.

"You still have the opportunity of going back and amending the last three year's tax returns. So here's an opportunity if you did it yourself to have them review it and see if you missed any deductions," said Certified Public Accountant Ed Gardner.

Accountants say reviewing your tax return is also good if you started a new side hustle last year, you are a landlord, or you're an active stock trader. You may be able to deduct expenses for those businesses.

"They didn't deduct their advertising expense, their business cards, maybe reference books they had for their particular industry.  Their cell phone, any professional dues, subscriptions," listed Gardner.

You may not have deducted sales tax on some big purchases.

"Like a car or boat or motorcycle or something like that. Maybe they didn't realize all the charitable deductions they took," said Gardner.

One other important note: this year the federal C.A.R.E.S. Act allows people to either skip taking a required minimum distribution from their 401k, 403b, or an IRA. And if you already received one, you can roll it back into a retirement account until August 31st.

"Here's an opportunity to put the money back and let it sit and grow, and save the money on taxes during the year 2020," Gardner explained.

Many tax preparers offer free tax return reviews and will only charge you if they find something and need to file an amended return.