'Pros' and cons?

Posted: May 02, 2013

DEAR HARRY: I went to a "professional" (a storefront preparer) to prepare my tax return back in 2002. For whatever reason, he did not deduct my real-estate taxes. In subsequent years, I used his work as a guide in preparing the returns myself, so I got no deduction all these years.

On April 10, I filed an amended return for 2009, 2010 and 2011, the "open years." Of course, I did the right thing on my 2012 return. I lost the deduction for the years from 2002 through 2008. Would I gain anything by amending my Pennsylvania returns for these years? It does not appear to me that real-estate taxes are a factor in determining the Pennsylvania tax.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: This has no effect on Pennsylvania's returns, since it is not one of the limited deductions allowed. There is another factor for you to consider. Some of these "pros" are seasonal employees with limited training and little supervision. We are talking about seven years of no deduction. That could be a pretty husky amount of Franklins that you overpaid. If you can, go back and recalculate the tax for those years. Present the data to the nearest office of the preparing company, and demand payment. Many advertise 100 percent correct returns, and that should help. Some of the years are barred by the statute of limitations. Good luck!


Email Harry Gross at harrygrossDN@gmail.com, or

write to him at Daily News, 801 Market St., Philadelphia, PA 19107. Harry urges all his readers to give blood. Contact the American Red Cross at 800-Red Cross.

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