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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL Family Child Care Tax Companion 5 Review Your Return After your tax professional completes your tax forms, use the checklists in the Tax Organizer to review them, comparing each line to the numbers in your organizer. It’s important to ask questions and make sure that you understand every line on your tax forms. In particular, make sure that all the income and deductions you entered in the Tax Organizer appear on your tax forms. If you have any concerns, raise them with your tax professional before you sign your return. Discuss Any Disagreements If you and your tax professional have a disagreement, or if her recommendations run counter to those in this book, first ask for an explanation. There may be more than one correct way to handle a particular issue. You may not have understood the tax rules cor- rectly, you may have forgotten something, or your tax professional may have made an error. Most disagreements are likely to be misunderstandings that can be resolved with a brief discussion. If you continue to disagree, don’t just rely on your tax professional’s word. Ask her to show you a written authority that supports her position. That authority may be the IRS Tax Code, an IRS publication, a Tax Court case, a Revenue Ruling, or some other IRS document. For example, let’s say that you have always counted the hours you spend attending training workshops as part of your Time-Space percentage on Form 8829, and now your tax professional says that you can’t do that. So you ask, “Where does it say that I can’t count these hours?” She will show you line 4 on Form 8829, which refers to the hours that the home is used for child care. When you are away from your home, even on a business activity, you aren’t using your home for business. It’s logical to conclude that activities away from home do not constitute business use of your home. Seek Outside Help If your tax professional can’t produce a written authority for her position, look elsewhere for documentation. (If you can find it, be sure to share it with your tax professional so that you can both learn about the point in dispute.) In this situation, there are resources that you can consult: • The IRS. Call them (800-829-4933), ask your question, and request a written author- ity for the answer. For example, you and your tax professional disagree about whether you can claim a portion of your car loan interest when you use the standard mileage rate. You ask the IRS, “May I deduct the business portion of my car loan interest if I’m using the standard mileage rate to claim my car expenses? Please cite written documentation for your answer.” The agent should point out the section on the stan- dard mileage rate in IRS Publication 463 Travel, Entertainment, Gift, and Car Expenses that says, “If you are self-employed and use your car in your business, you can deduct that part of the interest expense that represents your business use of the car.” • Tom Copeland’s blog. I have posted IRS documents that apply to family child care on my blog, I have also posted many articles that might help you find an answer to your specific question. COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL