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Just got off the phone with one of my clients. She's a batch processor - preferring to do 2 or 3 years at a time. So I'm doing her 2019 and 2020 returns. She did some work on her house. A lot of work. No -- a LOT! of work. Windows. Roof. Driveway. Water heater. Something else that I'm forgetting.

At any rate, the contractor tells her there's tax credits she can use for some of the work. There's tax credits for the windows. And a door. And the roof. So I sit down and do her returns. Yep, there's a tax credit all right. $500.



I wonder if there's any chance he told her that there would be up to XYZ of tax credits, and to be sure to check with her tax preparer. Doing two years of taxes at once seems...I don't know...not on top of things. At least she'll get whatever energy bill savings the new items result in.

It's too bad that we need to have our defenses up for things like that. I was once told how much a certain thing would save on my taxes, and just the previous year had stopped itemizing (home loan interest was finally down to where the standard deduction was better). I probably was ruder than necessary, knowing there would be no tax benefit, when I asked the person proposing that thing how he knew anything about my tax situation.

Last year I did a big Roth conversion, and expected the tax consequences, but it may be that my "artificially high" income for the year could make me ineligible for the third round of Coronavirus stimulus. But I knew enough to look into the tax consequences (at that time) of my actions to see if there were any limits or oddball triggers (like income over a certain amount preventing an HSA contribution).
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