3+ Reasons Why Charlotte Taxpayers Need To File An Amended Return

Sara F Gonzalez

So, there you have it. You made it happen. We got it through the tax season without a hitch.

Every year, I feel a great weight lift off my shoulders when I close our Charlotte office door on April 15th (this year, the 17th — well, the 18th, due to IRS "issues"). It's wonderful to be able to return home on that particular day.

We put in a lot of effort around here to ensure that you keep more of your money in your pocket. But it's good to be able to spend more time with the family.

But then comes the next day, and I remember that “breaks” in business (and in LIFE) are, to put it bluntly, fleeting.

As a result, our business's "offseason" begins. For our clients, however, this is where the real difference is made.

While some of our competitors are out enjoying the “fat” of tax season by taking weeks or months off, we're attending conferences, honing our skills in managing our business (and yours), and posting our money-saving tax blog for the Charlotte community.

All of this is to serve you BETTER than "Joe Down The Street," who can slap some paperwork together and make it look legitimate for the IRS — and then sit by the pool all summer sipping margaritas when they should be striving to improve.

I'm sorry for being so blunt, but Charlotte deserves better.

And while we're on the subject of deserving better... The quiet passage of "Tax Freedom Day" was lost in the shuffle of last week's many (moving) deadlines. This is the date on which the entire nation* has earned enough money to cover its entire tax bill for the year.

(*It should be emphasised that this is merely an average and does not correctly reflect the amount for you or your neighbours - it is the average tax burden for the entire economy, not for specific taxpayer groupings.)

The magical date for this year was Thursday, April 19, 2018 (three days earlier than previous year, for the record). It's been 3.5 months since the beginning of the year. And, like in previous years, Americans will spend more on taxes than on food, clothing, and housing combined in 2018.

Now, while it's part of our responsibility to keep your tax bill low, we can't do much about the country's tax load other than vote. However, we can assist your Charlotte friends, family, and neighbours. (Or maybe even YOU, if you for some reason didn’t employ our services this year!)

Here’s what we can do to help …

An Amended Return Could Be Required For Taxpayers In Charlotte For These Reasons

“You can never solve a problem on the level on which it was created.” -Albert Einstein

Our local Charlotte clients that filed with us this year already have piece of mind knowing that they were able to claim every lawful deduction available under the 2017 tax laws. After all, we go through a thorough review process on each return to guarantee that you keep as much of your hard-earned money as the IRS allows, and to reduce the need for an amended return as much as possible.

What about your pals, though? What about the years before that?

They (and you) may believe that the traditional "fat lady" has sung on 2017 returns because the filing deadline has already gone (and 2016 and 2015)

That is not the case.

Because, according to the Government Accountability Office's most recent analysis on the subject, Americans overpay the IRS by over $1 billion per year owing to poor itemization and preparation.

Worse, according to the report, those who prepared their own taxes (either using software or on their own) are the most vulnerable. Did you realise, however, that taxpayers who employed a “big chain” preparer are virtually as poorly off?

The following are three reasons why you might need to consider amending your return:

An excerpt from the GAO's supplemental report: Chain preparers made serious mistakes in a small study.

Paid preparers frequently prepared returns that were inaccurate, with tax repercussions that were sometimes severe, according to GAO (United States "Government Accountability Office" visits to chain preparers. These preparers were implicated in some of the most serious issues...

  1. In 10 of 19 situations, business income was not reported;
  2. Failing to take advantage of the most favorable post-secondary education tax benefit in three of the nine circumstances when it is available; and
  3. In seven out of nine cases, failing to itemize deductions or failing to claim all available deductions.

More clippings from the report:

* Only two of the 19 paid preparers we visited got the return amount right. They understated our refund amount by a total of $3,465 on 5 returns, all for the plumber.

* All 19 of our visits to chain-affiliated tax return preparers revealed issues. Almost every return we had completed was inaccurate in some way, and several of the preparers provided us terrible tax advice, especially when it came to filing non-W-2 business income. Only two of the 19 tax returns had the right refund amount, and in both of those trips, the paid preparer committed errors that had no bearing on the ultimate refund amount.

So, what can your buddies do in this situation? And, if you hadn't had us handle your taxes in previous years, what could you do about it? It's as simple as filing a "Amended" Return.

Many tax firms don't offer this service, but even if we've already completed our current clients' returns, we'll evaluate any new clients' returns for free.

Warmly,

Sara F Gonzalez
(704) 599-3355
Kohari & Gonzalez PLLC

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