Self-Preparation Software + A Relative That “Knows” How To File Taxes = Disaster

Your relative knows just how to help you with your taxes - and it will save you a few bucks, right?


Think about when your relative (or friend) told you that they could fix your computer. How did that work out? Not so well.

I just helped a client fix a problem caused by a relative who knew how to do his taxes - the mistake was only $500, but the mistake was one that would have been avoided by a trained professional. A couple of pointers –

  • If you’re self-employed on Schedule C, you cannot use form 2106 “Unreimbursed Employee Business Expenses”

  • If you’re a graduate student, you can’t take the American Opportunity Credit

  • You can’t “take your [sister’s/cousin’s/neighbor’s] children as dependents unless you QUALIFY and the actual person with custody gives you the dependent deduction using the correct IRS form

  • If you have a regular paycheck job, you can’t deduct mileage or expenses driving to and from work, nor can you deduct parking at work

  • If you’re living in a community property state (such as Texas), you can’t just file “married filing separately” and take only YOUR income and deductions. It’s far more complex than that

Those are just a couple of whopper mistakes I’ve seen over the last couple of days!

The client I just helped had a $2600 tax bill (that I got down to $500) and I got him an additional nearly $800 back on his taxes he just filed in April. He was pretty happy, but more than that, he felt confident that the headache was solved.

Get good advice, and don’t pay penalties and interest just because a relative “knows” just how to save you money on your taxes! Bring in your tax notices and your self-prepared tax returns, and let’s get you sleeping better at night.

Call me today at 713-893-7348 or get started HERE.

Greg Melon