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 return
sthere'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.