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I'm surprised you haven't received any responses on this question/issue. It's a valid post, so I'll bite.

In my mind the "firefighters tax specialists" can't do any better than an experienced preparer. You must be sure that your situation, in the first place, needs special help.

By that I mean:
1) Are you itemizing your deductions? Do you have mortgage interest, property taxes, state taxes paid, and charitable donations that add up to over the $9,500 STANDARD deduction?

2) Is your income on the low side, where 2% of your gross, doesn't sufficiently reduce or totally negate any miscellaneous deductions (to where job expenses are added)? EX: You may gross $100,000 (two incomes) and must subtract $2,000.00 off of any misc. deductions. Your tax saving becomes little to none. And,

3) If the specialist goes "overboard" (to prove his worth), you may get called into the IRS to explain/prove the large employee job expenses. Time, hassle, for a small net benefit.

I understand you're going to want to prepare your own return. I'm trying to find a resource for you to research firefighter deductions yourself. If you post your general situation, I can probably confirm whether you need a "specialist".

Good luck,
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