Did Your Tax Software Let You Down?

We all hit that wall at some point … our years of going our own tax preparation with the latest tax software suddenly goes awry. So you file an extension while you try and figure it out. But you can’t. And you know you can’t possible owe this year. In fact, you were expecting a nice refund. Let’s look at what happened:

I’ve used this tax software for years! What went wrong?

Probably two things – the Affordable Care Act (“Obamacare”) and the PATH Act (“Protecting Americans from Tax Hikes”).

It’s pretty easy to make mistakes using self-preparation tax software – in fact, even though it’s supposed to be self-guiding, the tax software can let you down pretty easily:

  • Health insurance coverage disclosure isn’t handled well by some software publishers – you can have health insurance all year, forget to check a box on the most widely used software and then get a bill from the IRS a few months later for a big penalty for NOT having had insurance – and the software does not warn you;

  • You can overlook some deductible expenses just because you didn’t know that you could use them – and that drives up your tax bill;

  • If you paid for child care, you may not get the deduction or credit if you don’t enter that information fully and completely;

  • Some data screens for more complex forms, such as moving expenses, self-employment or rental property have additional screens that require attention – you can pay more than you should by not knowing what needs to be completed.

I sat with a new client just a few days ago who got a notice that her self-prepared return did not indicate that she had health insurance – and she owed a big bill to the IRS. She showed me her return on the self-preparation tax software (the bestselling brand), and the tax software did NOT stop her from filing even though she hadn’t indicated whether or not she had health insurance. ONE check box was going to cost her almost $3000!

I got a notice from the IRS that my return was wrong!

If you got a notice from the IRS about your return being wrong, your self-preparation tax software won’t help you diagnose the problem. You only have about three weeks to respond with the correct information, or that notice letter becomes final! You probably need to amend the return that’s faulty – which could reduce that tax bill down to zero.

So what do I do?

My Tax Guy in Houston sees the problem all the time, and we can fix it for you easily. We will look at your self-preparation results, and either help you get the highest refund you are entitled to or, at the very least, explain why your results are the way that they are. Quickly, easily and securely. Cost? $149, unless you have stock trades, rental property, or overseas bank accounts.

If you got a notice and need to amend, we can do that for you too. Amendments start at $215.

Contact us when you’re ready to get started!

Greg Melon