Explore H&R Block’s Second Look Tax Review

April 06, 2018 : Allie Freeland

Many clients rest easy knowing that H&R Block has your back when it comes to all things tax return filing. Our tax pros aim to help the 20% of Americans expected to make an error on their return. Our goal? To find the money that others miss.

What Keeps People from Getting Their Maximum Refund?

Not filing, inaccurate tax filing statuses, and failure to and are the most common culprits of missed tax refund dollars.

  1. Education tax credits. The American Opportunity Tax Credit is worth up to $2,500. Whether you are a student or a parent, you may have education credits available.
  2. This refundable tax credit is worth up to $6,318 for tax year 2017 depending on your income and number of qualifying children.
  3. Dependents. An exemption is $4,050 per dependent in tax year 2017, the Child Tax Credit can be worth up to $1,000, and the Dependent Care Tax Credit may be as much as $1,050 for one child and $2,100 for two or more children.
  4. Not filing at all. If you miss the filing date and fail to file an extension, you could possibly miss a refund.
  5. Filing status. Selecting your optimal filing status has a strong impact on the value of some credits and deductions. For some families, changing your filing status (single, married filing jointly, married filing separately, head of household) can make you eligible for a larger refund.

Changes Coming to Next Year’s Return

For 2018 tax returns (returns filed in 2019) the recently passed Tax Cut and Jobs Act will affect some of the items, while leaving others unchanged

  1. Education Tax Credits. The Act did not alter the availability of the American Opportunity Credit or the Lifetime Learning Credit. The maximum allowable credits will remain the same for both.
  2. Earned Income Credit (EIC). The Act did not alter how the earned income credit functions. However, the maximum amount of the credit available will go up to $6,431.
  3. The Act did eliminate the deduction for dependency exemptions as well as personal exemptions. While taxpayer’s will lose the benefit of the $4,050 exemptions, they will benefit from the fact the Act also nearly doubled the standard deduction to $24,000 for joint filers, $12,000 for single taxpayers or married individuals filing separate, and $18,000 for those filing as head of household.
  4. Child and Family Tax Credit. The new law increases the credit for qualifying children (i.e., children under 17) to $2,000 from $1,000, and increases to $1,400 the refundable portion of the credit. It also introduces a new (nonrefundable) $500 credit for a taxpayer’s dependents who are not qualifying children.
  5. Child and Dependent Care Credit. The child and dependent care credit remains unchanged even though dependency exemptions have been eliminated as deductions.

Know Your Options

There’s good news… You have up to three years from the tax filing deadline to amend your tax return. If you think you have an opportunity for a higher refund, visit any H&R Block office for a . A tax professional will look at your return that you prepared through an online tax software or even a different tax preparation company. During the consultation, our tax professionals will determine any mistakes that could lead to more money in your pocket.

You may wonder the cost associated with this… Guess what? The consultation is completely free. If we don’t find a difference – we’ll back your return with the H&R Block Guarantee. If we do, your H&R Block tax professional can prepare an amended return starting at $99.

Take it from a real-life taxpayer. “The experience was great and painless,” said client, Emilie Wells, from Omaha, NE. “My tax pro acted almost like a detective, going back in time trying to uncover all the little details that would make a difference in our return. He worked through his computer program to recreate our 2015 return. He took his time asking me specific, detailed questions to make sure he didn’t miss anything.”

Emilie recommends using Second Look. “You either get money back or gain even more peace of mind knowing your taxes were done properly. It’s a win-win.”

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Don’t miss the chance to verify the accuracy of your prior-year tax returns. Additionally, get a Personalized Analysis of the Tax Reform impact on your 2018 Tax Return when we perform a Second Look Review of your 2017 tax return. Locate your nearest tax pro and schedule an appointment today.

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Allie Freeland

Allie Freeland

Contributing Editor, H&R Block

Allie is the Contributing Editor of the H&R Block blog, Block Talk. She has been a practicing grammar geek since 2007.