Level 11

@TaxGuyBill 

Of course it is pure conjuncture conjecture .  But:

  • Statistically, where are you finding statistics on the value of rental properties owned by decedents?  most likely the step-up in significantly more than $20,000, which means significantly more tax savings.  Which is why I said it is "likely" that amending would save money.
  • "Small amount of State tax"?  In my State that could be 7.85%.  Not exactly small in my opinion.  Statistically, it could be zero in Washington or Texas.
  • Just because the full-year returns there's only one full-year return involved -- 2018  would be amended, does not mean it would pay to amend the partial year return.  You don't need to do the partial year if it isn't worth it.
  • The OP said the client "now" told him no step-up was taken, which I infer means the OP prepared one or more of the tax returns.  I infer that someone else did those returns, because the OP  should have at least known that the wife died, and apparently knows that involves a step-up in basis.  In which case, YES, my fee to amend a return that I already prepared would be fairly low.  The time it takes to change TWO numbers in the software (basis and land) and to print the returns for mailing is minimal.
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