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Stephen G.
Stephen G., Sr Income Tax Expert
Category: Tax
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Experience:  Extensive Experience with Tax, Financial & Estate Issues
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I am being audited for claiming dependants and hoh. Can I amend

Customer Question

I am being audited for claiming dependants and hoh. Can I amend my return to not have dependants or hoh? I had a friend help with my taxes claiming my girlfriends kids. Didn't know it could cause an audit.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Stephen G. replied 2 years ago.

Stephen E. Grizey :

Hi & thanks for using our service. I'll do my best to give you a complete & accurate answer. Please ask me to clarify anything you don't understand.

Stephen E. Grizey :

When you say you are being "audited" what exactly do you mean; what is going on?

Stephen E. Grizey :

Letter; office audit; request for documentation?

Stephen E. Grizey :

Does your girlfriend & her kids live with you?

Customer : It was in letter form. I says we are auditing your tax return and delaying part of your refund. They are auditing me for rated income credit, dependants, and for filing head of house hold. Technically no they don't live with. And we didn't really keep any receipts for the things I bought for them.
Stephen E. Grizey :

What does the notice/letter ask you to do?

Customer : Send qualifing proof that they were my dependants they must meet five test for dependants and 3 tests for eic. And I must meet 3 qualifing test for hoh.
Stephen E. Grizey :

I know all the rules, I'm just trying to figure out what is the appropriate response so that you may not get penalized;

Stephen E. Grizey :

Did they send you a partial refund?

Customer : Yes.
Stephen E. Grizey :

That's good.

Stephen E. Grizey :

I'd just respond to the letter by saying this:

Stephen E. Grizey :

"After reviewing the specific requirements in your letter for the "Head of Household" filing status, and the specific support requirements to claim the children as dependents; I do not meet the criteria for the Head of Household filing status and I am not entitled to claim the children as dependents."

Stephen E. Grizey :

"Accordingly, I agree that my refund needed to be adjusted for these errors." Will it be necessary for me to file an amended return or have you made the necessary adjustments to my filing?

Stephen E. Grizey :

Very truly yours,

Stephen E. Grizey :

That may work since you were in a refund situation, you may not be penalized.

Stephen E. Grizey :

Questions?

Stephen E. Grizey :

Please remember to click on the green "ACCEPT", or the "smiley face" as appropriate; that is the only way we get credit for our work, even if you are on a subscription plan. Feedback, if you have time and bonuses, where you think they are warranted, are always most appreciated. Before or after you ACCEPT, I will be happy to answer any additional follow-up questions you may have. Thanks again for using our service.

If you'd like to contact me again, in the future, just ask for "Steve G" at the beginning of your question.

Customer : What's the worse I'm looking at? And what if they accept my response as you told me, what will happen then?
Customer : You still there?
Stephen E. Grizey :

Yes....the site's computer locked me out............

Stephen E. Grizey :

Well, since you are overpaid, they probably have already reduced your refund by the full effect of changing your filing status to single and removing the dependents.

Stephen E. Grizey :

So in theory, nothing else should happen as all the regular penalties are based upon tax owed; since you were still in a refund position after the adjustments, there shouldn't be any "regular" penalties. The only question would be if they were to consider penalizing you for attempting to use a filing status you didn't qualify for and the same with the dependents.

Stephen E. Grizey :

It would be difficult for them to prove "intent" as in "fraud" so the likelihood would be a penalty assessment for "Intentional Disregard of the Regulations", as far as whether that would be asserted, who knows...........I wouldn't worry about it as there's nothing you can do about it until or if it is asserted.

Customer : So you think there is a high likelyhood they will accept the response you suggested?
Customer : Its seems like they gave me about half of what my friend told me my return would be. But still don't think that it seems high if I wouldn't have filed with dependants.
Stephen E. Grizey :

Yes, but there's no guarantee; I don't know how else you could possibly respond without getting yourself in deeper; there are other things we could say, for example you received bad advice, but I wouldn't bring that up at this point.

Stephen E. Grizey :

How much did they reduce your refund by?

Stephen E. Grizey :

approximately

Customer : 4000
Stephen E. Grizey :

That could be right.

Stephen E. Grizey :

Any idea why you were so much overpaid?

Customer : What do you mean over paid?
Stephen E. Grizey :

Do you claim 0 exemptions and/or ask to have extra withholding?

Stephen E. Grizey :

Well if the 4,000 is half + - of what you expected that means your were overpaid by 4,000., ie they sent you a refund of around $4,000. -- that's quite a bit overpaid.

Customer : DDon't think I had any exemptions or extra withholdings
Stephen E. Grizey :

OK, I was just curious

Stephen E. Grizey :

Please remember to click on the green "ACCEPT", or the "smiley face" as appropriate; that is the only way we get credit for our work, even if you are on a subscription plan. Feedback, if you have time and bonuses, where you think they are warranted, are always most appreciated. Before or after you ACCEPT, I will be happy to answer any additional follow-up questions you may have. Thanks again for using our service.

If you'd like to contact me again, in the future, just ask for "Steve G" at the beginning of your question.

Customer : So if my return with out dependants is less than 4000 what then?
Stephen E. Grizey :

What do you mean?

Stephen E. Grizey :

Do you mean if they refunded you too much?

Customer : Yes. Because my return before averaged around 1500. And I made the same as I always have.
Stephen E. Grizey :

I doubt that they refunded you too much; they told you they adjusted your refund; if they did refund you too much, they will send you a bill;

Stephen E. Grizey :

_______________________________________

Customer : They just said they were delaying part of my refund.
Stephen E. Grizey :

Sure, "delaying" until you provide the substantiation for HofH + dependents; if you can't do that, the delay will turn into a "permanent" delay; permanent like in you never get it.

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Stephen G.
Stephen G.
Sr Financial & Tax Consultant
3656 Satisfied Customers
Extensive Experience with Tax, Financial & Estate Issues