TurboTax Made Me Do It

Sometimes you should not do your own brain surgery.  Well, make that almost always.  Actually, I can’t think of an exception.  A recent Tax Court Memorandum reminds us of the perils of taking on complicated tasks for which one has no training or aptitude.

Barry Bulakites is an insurance consultant whose clients are primarily accountants.  Mr. Bulakites prepared his own tax returns using TurboTax.  (A bit ironic, I should say.)  According to the Tax Court, “the Commissioner thinks he claimed a few too many deductions, but Bulakites argues that he has enough evidence to prove some of them and blames the software for luring him into claiming others.”

In 2011 and 2012, Mr. Bulakites confronted some pretty complicated tax matters.  The IRS examined those returns and assessed additional tax based on Mr. Bulakites claiming over $300,000 too much in deductions.  Representing himself, Mr. Bulakites petitioned the Tax Court for relief.

The Tax Court decided completely in favor of the IRS about the matters at issue.  Then, the Tax Court found in favor of the IRS with regard to an accuracy-related penalty imposed when there is “any substantial understatement of income tax.”  Mr. Bulakites tried to blame TurboTax, but the Tax Court did not buy his argument.  “[T]ax preparation software is only as good as the information one inputs into it.”

VKM

TurboTax Made Me Do It

Latest News

The Home Mortgage Interest Deduction – Changes Under the TCJA

The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 (“TCJA”), enacted Dec. 22, makes modifications to the deductibility of ...

Qualified Opportunity Funds – A New Investment Vehicle from the TCJA

A new Qualified Opportunity Zone (“QOZ”) program to encourage investment in low-income communities (“LICs”) is part of the ...

The Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018, passed and signed into law on February 9, 2018, has a number of tax law changes.

On February 9, Congress passed, and the President signed into law, H.R. 1892, the “Bipartisan Budget Act of ...

HM&M Updates

Recent Tax Developments Impacting Nonprofit Organizations

On May 22, 2018 Randy Garcia spoke at the TSCPA 2018 Nonprofit Organizations Conference and shared some important ...

HM&M leading in Fort Worth, Texas

Shareholder, Susan Adams, and Senior Manager, Michele Sanchez-Soriano were both nominated as committee chairs of the Fort Worth Chapter of ...

Randy Garcia selected as TSCPA Rising Star

The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (TSCPA) recently announced its 2018 Rising Star honorees. This recognition highlights ...