Home » Tax pros warn against following terrible tax tips circulating on TikTok

Tax pros warn against following terrible tax tips circulating on TikTok

by UNN Feed

As tax day approaches, TikTok creators are dolling out filing tips, including suggestions about what kinds of purchases to write off. But financial professionals caution against following advice proliferating on the social media platform that might be unsound. 

Among the most visible, but flawed pieces of advice are claims that taxpayers can write off their pets as business expenses, or hire one’s own kids for a tax refund. 

The Internal Revenue Service has also cautioned taxpayers against interpreting dubious social media advice as legitimate, saying that following wrong advice could potentially lead to fines.

“The IRS warns taxpayers to be wary of trusting internet advice, whether it’s a fraudulent tactic promoted by scammers or it’s a patently false tax-related scheme trending across popular social media platforms,” the agency said. 

Mara Derderian, a professor of finance at Bryant University, said that while it is good that social media creators are engaging young people in the topic of finances, it’s important for users to be aware of whom they’re taking advice from. 

“Social media is a great conversation starter, and from there you need to make sure you’re seeking tax-related or other advice from an educated, experienced professional,” she told CBS MoneyWatch. “Everybody has unique goals, and your advice should be customized.”

Here are three pieces of tax advice circulating on TikTok from so-called “finfluencers,” or financial influencers, that experts say to be wary of following. 

1. You can claim your car as a business expense

While a car can be a legitimate business expense, taxpayers don’t have license to buy new vehicles and automatically write them off. For starters, you have to be able to prove that you do in fact use it to conduct business. One way to do this is to keep a mileage log and tally it up at the end of the year. 

“You can keep track of mileage and if you happen to have a year where you use the…

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