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Can I do an inmate's taxes?

Los Angeles, CA |

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


  1. 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.


  2. 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.