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Riley Holmes of H&R Block talks to the Tom Joyner Morning Show about tax season and why you shouldn’t play with the IRS. As everyone knows, the IRS expects you to file your taxes by April 15th. Of course, some folks seeking refunds file earlier and some folks, if they complete an extension form can file by October 15th.

Holmes says playing with the IRS is like playing with fire. As Wesley Snipes, Lauryn Hill, and Ron Isley could tell you, the IRS is not here for your lying, scheming and willfully avoiding paying your taxes.

“Once you sign your tax return, you are approving that your return is correct so if the tax return is done incorrectly, you will be responsible.”

As far as deductions, everyone wants to come up with as many as possible. And there are many, especially if you are self-employed, that you can come up with. But you have to know what you can deduct and what you can’t. Everyone knows you can claim a dependent child, but sorry, you cannot claim a pet, even if you provide 100% of its care.

“The IRS allows itemized deductions. You get two options – a standard deduction and an itemized deduction. One out of three American itemize, which means millions of people should itemize, especially homeowners. You can deduct mortgage interest, real estate taxes, job expenses, medical expenses. They are all subject to limitations, however all those things are deductible. [If you have a small business] depending on the type of business, you can deduct advertising, business supplies, office supples, your office space.”

As far as do’s and don’ts, aside from lying being an obvious don’t’, Holmes says that the most important thing is to keep good records so that you can get all the deductions that you are eligible for.

If you do choose H&R Block to do your taxes, Holmes says that they are now offering a “Half Off” deal from February 15 to March 15th. But you must bring in a receipt of what you paid last year and if you do, H&R Block will give you half off their rate.

Click the link above to hear the entire interview!

H&R Block’s Riley Holmes Answers Your Tax Questions, Offers Special Discount  was originally published on