Tax Guru – Ker$tetter Letter

Helping real people win the tax game.

Messy Tax Season Ahead – DIY Will Be Dangerous

Posted by taxguru on January 14, 2015

With all of the last minute tax law changes, as well as the ridiculous ObamaCare issues to deal with, it’s going to be a chaotic Tax Season from the side of us practitioners.  It doesn’t help any that IRS will be just as messed up as we will be.

IRS cuts taxpayer services as filing returns gets harder

IRS ignores phone calls, does not let elderly people leave messages 

IRS chief warns of refund delays, poor customer service this tax year

Obama administration begins to issue vital Obamacare forms for tax filers

Obamacare Problems? Now in Hands of IRS

As I have made clear over the years, I have never been a fan of people preparing their own tax returns, for their own protection.  Even with the most expensive tax software, it’s still a matter of GIGO (Garbage In, Garbage Out).  It’s similar to buying a scalpel and a book on human anatomy and assuming that you are properly prepared to perform surgery on a person.

I am once again stressing this point because I have been receiving all kinds of emails from PR firms and software companies asking me to promote their DIY tax programs.  I just can’t do that.  What is very clear is the fact that this Tax Season is going to be the worst time for tax DIYers.  Even we experienced tax pros will be having problems.  Amateurs have no chance of getting everything right.

What I can confidently predict is that we will have a lot of work redoing tax returns and straightening out DIY screw-ups.  The problem is that not all tax mistakes can be corrected with amended returns.  Some things that are done on original returns are not reversible and could cost DIYers thousand of dollars in lost tax benefits, making what they supposedly saved in tax prep fees pale in comparison.

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