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Can I do an inmate's taxes?

Los Angeles, CA |
Filed under: Tax law

My cousin called me from prison and asked if I can pickup his w2 from his mom's house and submit his taxes for him as he is required to file. He is in prison in California and I am based in Southern CA. Since he gave me verbal permission can I file his taxes for him?

Attorney Answers 2


If you are not charging a fee for the service there is no reason why you cannot prepare his return. Absent extraordinay circumstances, he will have to review and sign the return.

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The IRS and FTB require that you have a power of attorney for your cousin in prison if he is receiving a refund back before the issuing agency will release funds to a third-party. You may want to see if he is going to be receiving a refund first and then look into getting a power of attorney for tax matters, if needed.

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