What To Do After Filing Your Tax Returns by Tomoko Shoji, CPA/PFS, CFP

Posted on May 10, 2022 by Tomoko Shoji

Congratulations! You filed your tax return (or requested a filing extension) and paid your tax liabilities by the April deadline. However, there are circumstances for which you may need to amend your return and/or attempt to reduce your tax liabilities for the current year. Following are some tips to keep in mind after filing your tax return.

Understand your Options for Paying Your Tax Liabilities

Under federal tax law, even if you receive a six-month extension of time to file your annual tax returns, you are still responsible for paying your “estimated” tax liabilities by the April 15 deadline. If you missed this deadline without requesting a filing extension, or you failed to pay your tax liabilities on time, it is important you take immediate action to limit your exposure to penalties and interest. The IRS offers several options to help you meet your responsibilities, including the availability of payment plans.

Know if you Need to File an Amended Tax Return

After filing your return and paying your tax liability, you may realize you forgot to send some information to your tax preparer, or you may receive in the mail a late notice about income you failed to report. Speak with your tax advisor to determine whether you need to file an amended tax return, which will be the case when the new information relates to your income, your filing status or the deductions and credits to which you are entitled. Amended returns are not required when you detect a mathematical error, you fail to attach a form or schedule to your originally filed tax return or you are expected a refund from the federal government.

Check your Withholding

You generally are required to pay at least 90 percent of your taxes during the year through withholding or via estimated quarterly tax payments.

Withholding refers to the amount of taxes your employer holds back from your wages and pays directly to the government on your behalf. The amount withheld is based on the information you provide on your Form W-4, Employee’s Withholding Certificate, which asks for your marital status, the number of dependents living in your household, your taxable earning and the credits and the deductions to which you may be entitled. When you withhold too much, it is likely you will receive a tax refund; withhold too little and you may end up with a surprise tax bill.

Thankfully, you can make changes to your W-4 anytime throughout the year, such as when your marital status changes, which will subsequently affect the amount withheld from your pay. Depending on your unique circumstances, it may make sense to meet with your tax advisors and CPAs to help you conduct a withholding checkup and take steps to maximize your tax efficiency for the year ahead. These annual checkups are equally important for retirees receiving Social Security income as well as gig-workers and self-employed individuals who are responsible for taxes on both income and self-employment tax.

About the Author: Tomoko Shoji, CPA/PFS, CFP, is a senior manager of Tax Services with Berkowitz Pollack Brant Advisors + CPAs, where she provides income and estate-tax planning and compliance service to high-net-worth families and closely held businesses in the U.S. and abroad. She can be reached at the CPA firm’s Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., office at  (954) 712-7000 or via email at