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Don’t Be Bamboozled By a Bad Tax Preparer

Taxpayers can take steps to protect themselves from possible lengthy IRS and state agency battles and pricey penalties by selecting a registered and reputable tax professionals.

Make sure the preparer you select signs and dates the return, and gives you a copy to take with you.  Do not pay a preparer to do your taxes and they will not sign their name on the return.  The law requires that a paid preparer must sign the tax return and complete the preparer areas of the form. If the preparer is reluctant to sign the return, take that as a warning.

Stay clear of paid preparers that will not list their name on the return as the “tax preparer”.  The government reports repeated scams including preparers that fail to list their name on taxpayers returns, instead indicating “self prepared”.    Paid preparers are required to include their name and identification number on each return.  This information can be found on page 2 of your form 1040.  If this information is not found on the return, there is reason to be concerned.

This generally happens when a tax preparer use online filing or specialty software to populate the taxpayer return.   The tax preparer accept payment but will not attach themselves to the return they have created.   Ultimately releasing themselves from any wrong doing or mistakes associated with the taxpayer’s return.   This is illegal and will place the taxpayer at risk for the unimaginable.   While the IRS continue to work to identify tax preparers bamboozling taxpayers they will eventually get caught and face legal charges.  As we have seen in hundreds of cases, tax preparers facing caustic penalties and prison time.