First, we aren't like everyone else. Our trained professionals look at your circumstances and your numbers differently than anyone else in the industry. Why? Audit training and for some, experience. We don't just follow IRS interpretations for items on your returns. We actually think about how something will look when it gets there. Does that mean we do things that are illegal. No, never!
But, what we promise is that we won't take deductions or report income that we cannot defend if
by the slim chance you actually get audited for that year.
More and more these days, people have a business in their home. Realtors are great examples of that. If your business is in your home, any time you go somewhere with a business purpose, like meeting clients or going to networking meetings, that's a business purpose. You should track your mileage "Portal to Portal". From the time you leave your home to the time you return (no side trips out of the way for personal stuff). And that is a legitimate business expense. That even applies if you do rent a desk in a Broker's office. It's the Broker's office, not yours.
Most preparers won't tell you that and if you are using consumer software to prepare your own returns, even if you think they're simple, you are paying too much in taxes. A simple return has nothing but W-2 income on it. Anything else and you're complicating your return because there are rules you do not know about. The short answer is, the software asks you questions you don't know how to answer. When you answer wrong, it creates a donation to the US government -- your money in its pocket.