Sorry, But There Really Isn’t a “Gray Area” for Most Taxpayers to Push

ID-100260524Every tax season, one or two new clients who have never worked with me before will say things to me such as “I really want you to push the gray areas. Not go past them, but push right up to that line.”

Every single person who has said that to me has been what I would consider a “typical” taxpayer.

Maybe they’re married. They have W-2s, a mortgage, maybe some student loan interest, and maybe they have kids and some charitable contributions.

NEWSFLASH: for the vast majority of taxpayers, there is no gray area to be pushed.

Your income is whatever your W-2 says it is.

Your deductions are whatever they are. Mortgage, property taxes, charitable, car registration. I suppose there could be a gray area if someone is claiming employee business expenses. But even then, those expenses are not likely to end up being deductible anyway.

No matter what the H & R Block commercials say, there is no magic wand that a tax preparer can wave to make a bigger tax refund appear.

Your withholding and your tax credits control how large your refund is – not some sort of magic worked by the preparer.

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles /