How does the refund math work on amendments?

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How does the refund math work on amendments?

Let's say you got a $2,000 refund when you first filed, but after amending you owe $500. Does that mean you need to send your $2,000 refund back, along with another payment for $500?

Luckily, the answer is no. The $500 on the amendment doesn't mean that your original $2,000 refund has been replaced with a $500 tax bill. That's because on amendments, the refund/owed amount resets to $0 and the new amount reflects the additional refund or tax owed amount from the amendment.

Here are some examples of amendment math:

Original return Amended return Net result for the tax year
$2,000 refund $500 owed $1,500 refund ($2,000 less $500 owed)
$2,000 refund $500 refund $2,500 refund ($2,000 plus another $500)
$2,000 owed $500 owed $2,500 owed ($2,000 plus another $500)
$2,000 owed $500 refund $1,500 owed ($2,000 less $500 refund)

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