Tax tip: Your most important advice this tax season

You will also no doubt be getting unsolicited tax advice from non-experts. Ignore it.

Robert D. Flach
by Robert D. Flach, MainStreet contributor

NEW YORK (MainStreet) — During the next three and a half months — the traditional tax filing season — you will be bombarded with free tax advice from various media. My 1040 clients are constantly including cut-out articles from newspapers and magazines with the tax “stuff” they give me.

And you will also no doubt be getting unsolicited tax advice from your brother-in-law, your cousin Manny, your auto mechanic, your insurance broker and various and sundry neighbors and co-workers.

The value of any tax advice, strategy or technique depends on the specific “facts and circumstances” of your individual situation. Some advice may apply to you and some may not.

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And when it comes to federal and state income taxes your brother-in-law, cousin, auto mechanic, insurance broker, neighbors and co-workers are not what I would call “experts.” It’s more likely they do not know what they are talking about.

You wouldn’t ask your butcher for a medical opinion, so why would you listen to tax advice from your M.D.?

It is vital that before you act on any free advice you read in a newspaper or magazine, see mentioned on TV or the radio or get from a friend, relative or co-worker that you consult a competent tax professional.

You will not get any more important tax advice than this during the coming season — or at any time during the year!