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How do I amend my return to correct a California underpayment?

SOLVEDby TurboTax3Updated December 13, 2021

Because of an error in a TurboTax calculation, you may have overstated your Earned Income Tax Credit on your California tax return, resulting in a possible underpayment of your state tax.

We fixed the issue in TurboTax and we want to make sure your California tax return is complete and accurate. We recommend that you check and, if necessary, amend your state tax return to determine if any additional tax is due. There are no additional fees for checking your TurboTax return or for preparing an amendment.

We continuously strive to provide correct and accurate calculations in our TurboTax products. Sometimes that effort results in our finding errors after returns have been filed. We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this may cause you. If you need our help, we’ve provided contact information at the bottom of this letter.

To amend your return in TurboTax, follow the step-by-step instructions here:

  1. Write down the original refund or balance due amount for your California state income taxes.
    • NOTE: If you are over the age of 24 or cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, also write down the original refund or balance due amount for your Federal tax return. We recommend you check the paper/PDF copy of your return(s), or your banking records to verify the correct amount.
  2. Launch TurboTax and open your 2020 return.
    • NOTE: Check your refund/balance due. If the California refund or balance due amount is the same as you wrote down in step 1, CA Form 3514 was calculated correctly and no amendment is needed. You may stop here.
  3. Before you make any changes, select File and Save As... then add Amended 2020 return to the file name to preserve your original return. 
  4. Select Online and Check for Updates. Allow the program to update if any are available.
  5. Select the Federal Taxes tab, (Personal tab if you’re using Home & Business), and then select Other Tax Situations. You may be asked to answer a few preliminary questions before you see a list of categories. Scroll down to Other Tax Forms select Start next to Amend a Return
  6. On the We’ll help you change (amend) your return screen, select Continue. Then on the Did you already file your return? screen select Yes, I have already filed my return. Then select, I was contacted by TurboTax and told I may need to amend for some other reason, then select Continue.
  7. On the Tell us which returns you want to amend screen, follow the steps below based on your situation: 
    1. You are over the age of 23 or cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return (for example, you are filing as Head of Household),
      1. Choose I want to amend both my federal and state returns, then Continue
      2. On the What do you need to change on your return? screen, scroll down to I need to change (amend) my return for a different reason and select Update by Deductions and Credits.
      3. On the How do you want to enter your deductions and credits? screen, select I’ll choose what I work on.
      4. On the Your 2020 Deductions & Credits screen, scroll down to the You and Your Family section and select Update next to Earned Income Credit (EIC).
      5. On the Let’s see if you get the Earned Income Credit screen, Yes should be displayed, then select Continue.
      6. On the Do any of these uncommon situations apply? screen, place a checkmark next to any that apply. For the box I can be claimed as a qualifying child by someone else, select the Learn More link to review the requirements that must be met to determine if this box should be checked. Make any needed corrections and then select Continue.
        • NOTE: If you make changes, check your refund/balance due. If the Federal amount is the same as you wrote down in step 1, earned income was calculated correctly and no Federal amendment is required and you may go to step 9 below.
      7. Finish the remaining screens for the Earned income tax credit and select Continue.
      8. On the Your 2020 Deductions & Credits screen, scroll down to the bottom and select Done with Deductions then Continue.
      9. On the Just Checking If You’re a Homeowner, make the proper selection then select Continue and Continue again.
      10. On the Here Are Your 2019 and 2020 Deductions & Credits screen, review your information, then select Continue and Continue again.
      11. On the Do you need to change anything else? screen, scroll down to the bottom and select Update next to the State return topic and prepare your state amendment by continuing with step 8 below.
    2. You are under the age of 24 and can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, 
      1. Choose I want to amend only my federal or only my state return, then check Amend my California return. Then Continue. Your state refund/balance due tracker will usually reset to $0. This is normal.
  8. On the What do you need to change on your return? screen, scroll down to the bottom and select Update next to the State return topic.
  9. On the Let’s work on your state return screen, select Continue.
  10. On the Your State Return screen, select Edit by California. 
  11. On the Let’s Amend Your California Return screen, choose Yes, let’s amend and get it done, then select Continue.
  12. Oh the Report Tax Year, enter 2020 for the Tax Year for Amended Return, then select Continue.  
  13. On the Important: Read and Follow Your California Amend Instructions, select Continue.
  14. On the Confirm Previous Refund or Tax Paid, verify the amount and make sure they match the figure you found in Step 1. If they do not match, enter the correct amount, then select Continue.
  15. On the About Your California Amended Return screen, scroll down on the California Explanation of Amended Return Change to Part II - Reason(s) for Amending and  select i Earned income tax credit. Continue scrolling to 2, Provide further explanation of reason(s) for amending below and enter TO CORRECT EITC as the reason for amending. Then select Continue.
  16. On the Let’s Make Sure You’re Ready to Review screen, choose Yes, I’ve entered everything and let’s review then Continue.  If there are any errors, you will need to correct them before moving forward. 
  17. On the We Won’t Be Able to E-file Your Return, select Continue.  
  18. On the Review Your Return, select Continue. Review any final warnings and fix any errors. If you make any changes at this stage, be sure to run Smart Check again, until there are no new warnings to fix then select Done.
  19. On the Run Smart Check Again, select Done.
  20. On the You’re Done with 2020 California screen, select Done With States.
  21. If you are amending your Federal return, on the Check This Entry screen, enter TO CORRECT EITC into the Explanation of Changes box, then Continue.
  22. On the We Won’t Be Able to E-file Your Return screen, select Continue and then Done.
  23. On the Your Amended Return Summary screen, review your changes and then select Continue.
  24. Print and Save the amended return.
  25. Once your tax return has been printed, you need to sign, date and mail the amended return. The mailing address and refund/balance due are included on the File by Mail Instructions for your 2020 Federal and/or California Amended Tax Return. Don’t forget to save a copy for your records.
  1. Write down the original refund or balance due amount for your California state income taxes.
    • NOTE: If you are over the age of 24 or cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return, also write down the original refund or balance due amount for your Federal tax return. We recommend you check the paper/PDF copy of your return(s), or your banking records to verify the correct amount.
  2. Log in to the TurboTax account where you prepared your 2020 return.
  3. In Tax Home, scroll down to Your tax returns & documents, and choose 2020. Select Amend (change) return and then select Amend Using TurboTax Online.
  4. On the Before you get started, let’s make sure you need to amend screen, select Continue to amend.
  5. On the OK, let’s get a kickstart on your 2020 amended return screen, choose TurboTax sent me an email, then Continue.
  6. On the What did we contact you about? screen, choose Something else then Continue.
    • NOTE: Check your refund/balance due. If the amount is the same as you wrote down in step 1, California Form 3514 was calculated correctly and no amendment is needed. You may stop here.
  7. On the Tell us which returns you want to amend screen,follow the steps below based on your situation:
    1. You are over the age of 23 or cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return (for example, you are filing as Head of Household),
      1. Place a check mark by both 2020 Federal return and 2020 California return. Then select Continue.
      2. On the Here’s the info for your amended federal return screen, scroll down to the bottom and select Add a deduction or credit.
      3. On the Let’s keep working on tax breaks screen, select Ok, got it.
      4. On the Now it’s time for the fun part… screen, select See all tax breaks, then scroll down to You and Your Family, select the down arrow next to the Show more and then the Revisit button next to Earned Income Credit (EIC).
      5. On the Looks like the Earned Income Credit may put more money in your pocket screen, select Continue.
      6. On the Let’s make sure you’re getting your max credit screen, select the appropriate answer, then Continue and Continue again.
      7. On the Let’s Check for uncommon situations screen, select the ? next to I can be claimed as a qualifying child by someone else and review the requirements. If you are filing as Head of Household and do not meet the requirements, then uncheck the box and select Continue then Done.
      8. On the Now it’s time for the fun part screen, scroll down to the bottom and select Wrap up tax breaks then Continue on the following screen.
      9. On the Here’s the info for your amended federal return screen, scroll to the bottom and select Done.
      10. On the Tell us why you’re amending your return screen, enter TO CORRECT EITC as the reason for amending, then Continue.
      11. Select Continue until you reach the Next, we’ll go over your amended state taxes screen and select Continue. Then continue with step 8 below.
    2. You are under the age of 24 and can be claimed as a dependent on someone else’s tax return,
      1. Choose I want to amend only my federal or only my state return, then check Amend my California return. Then Continue. Your state refund/balance due tracker will usually reset to $0. This is normal.
  8. On the Let’s get your state taxes done right screen, select Continue then Amend to work on your California state return.
  9. On the Let’s Amend Your California Return screen, select Yes, let’s amend and get it done, then Continue. 
  10. On the Report Tax Year screen, make sure 2020 is the Tax Year for Amended Return. Then select Continue and Continue again.
  11. On the Confirm Previous Refund or Tax Paid, verify or correct the amount and select Continue.
  12. On the About Your California Amended Return, select Continue.
  13. On the Let’s Make Sure You’re Ready to Review screen, select Yes, I’ve entered everything and let’s review, then Continue.
  14. On the Let’s make sure everything is accurate screen, select Fix Return.
  15. On the Check This Entry screen, place a check mark by Earned income tax credit and select Continue.
  16. On the Check This Entry screen, answer the question concerning if EIC has been disallowed and then select Continue.
  17. On the Let’s make sure everything is accurate screen, select Run Smart Check Again.
  18. On the Check This Entry screen, enter “TO CORRECT EITC” and then Continue.
  19. On the Smart Check Results screen, select Continue then Continue again.
  20. On the Let’s comb through your returns one last time with completecheck screen, choose Check My Info. Review any final warnings and fix any errors. If you make any changes at this stage, be sure to run completecheck again, until there are no new warnings to fix. Then Continue.
    • NOTE: You will receive a warning that We Won’t Be Able to E-file Your Return. This is normal.
  21. On the Let’s take care of these details now screen, select Continue.
  22. On the We still save a couple of things to button up screen, select Continue. You will see a screen with your amended return results. Select Continue.
  23. On the Great job so far! Screen, select Continue.
  24. On the Just a few steps left and we’ll file your returns screen, select Start by Step 3 then Continue. Make sure you select File by Mail.
  25. Print and Save the amended return.
  26. Once your tax return has been printed, you need to sign, date and mail the amended return. The mailing address and refund/balance due are included on the File by Mail Instructions for your 2020 Federal and/or California Amended Tax Return. Don’t forget to save a copy for your records.

We’re here to help if you have questions or need assistance. You can call us at (866) 278-9691 to reach a tax expert who is prepared to assist you with this issue. Tell the expert you’re calling about: 2020 CA EITC Calculation.

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