Friday, March 4, 2011

Although Free File Options Abound, Did You File Your Return Correctly?

This article is my personal observation regarding all those individuals out there who file their own tax returns, whether or not they use one of the many Free File options available.

It does not matter how many Free File options are out there. It does not matter whether you use TurboTax or some other off-the-shelf tax software to prepare your own tax returns. I have a few questions you need to consider.

Are you absolutely certain that your tax return was filed correctly?
Did you claim all of your income?
Did you take all of the deductions that might be available to you?

In many (if not most) cases, you probably cannot answer "YES" to all three of the above questions. The reason for this is simple: the rules change every single year. Provisions are added and removed from the tax code every year. What was deductible last year might not be deductible this year. Or if it is still deductible, it might not be the same amount due to income limitations, etc.

Unless you have a very simple tax returns (i.e., only a couple of W-2s, maybe a couple children, and you do not itemize, and you file a Form 1040EZ), you probably are not keeping up with the constantly changing tax codes.

Did you know that there were over 1,700 changes made to the tax code in 2010 alone? Do you know how many of these changes affect individual tax payers? How about the changes that affect businesses? Did you know that some of the changes affect both individuals and businesses alike?

How many of the tax code changes affect 2010? How many changes will affect future years? How many changes are only temporary (that last one or two years only)?

If you are not sure that you filed your taxes in such a way that you claimed all the deductions available to you, or if you did not claim all of your income, call me (773-792-1910) or email me at I will review your tax return for you and let you know if there are any changes that should be made to your return. If I find there are changes that should be made, I expect you will allow me to make those changes for you.

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