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IRS Website Help

Joshua Rocher, Staff Accountant

February 18, 2019

While we’re now two weeks removed from Punxsutawney Phil’s early spring prognostication, spring doesn’t really come for us at LBF Group until after April 15th. As we’ve fully entered tax season, I see different variations of the same two texts regularly. Loosely speaking, they ask:

1.) I saw/heard (some program, article, etc.) that said my refund this year will be either

  • larger (insert hopeful skepticism)
  • smaller (insert frustration)

So what should I expect?

2.) Is (insert expense) deductible for me this year?

The answer for 1.) is always varied, as it depends on a variety of factors, and usually prompts a longer phone call. This is why you’d come into the office.

The answer for 2.) is far simpler. I direct them to go to the IRS Interactive Tax Assistant website ( ), encouraging them to use the search bar. For most categories, there’s an intuitive interactive questionnaire that should help set expectations, including hyperlinked definitions of most common terms. Most shy away from anything with an IRS label, but unlike phone calls, there’s no need to wait on hold, and at the very least this is a good resource to use as a starting point.

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