Sense & Centsibility Blog
Income Tax Preparation: How to choose reputable tax preparers and avoid scams
Thursday, February 14, 2013 - 05:04
It's tax preparation time of year! And for those Americans who expect a refund, the tax season is heating up. But before you hurry out to get your taxes done, do your homework to make sure your tax “professional” is not out to scam you. Both the IRS and Better Business Bureau warn taxpayers against using preparers who claim they can get you a bigger refund than anyone else. Fraudulent preparers may boost refunds by manipulating income to qualify for tax credits, or by claiming inflated expenses, false deductions or exemptions. Under these circumstances, a bigger refund is never good! Even if you fall victim to a fraudulent tax preparer, it is you who is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of all the information contained in your tax returns. The importance of this cannot be stressed enough! When someone else prepares your returns, if the returns are wrong, you will be liable for back taxes, interest, and perhaps monetary penalties. Even worse, some folks may be facing jail time for filing false tax returns. Although most tax preparers are honest and do excellent work, it is crucial that you carefully select with whom you entrust your tax work. It’s worth repeating that if your preparer messes up, whether by mistake or intentionally to scam you and the government, you will be held accountable.