The IRS has decided to state the obvious. If someone other than yourself prepares your taxes, make sure the person (or firm) is not a fake, fraud or dishonest.
In an announcement, the agency's management writes:
As the April 15th tax return filing deadline approaches, taxpayers are reminded of the importance of finding honest and qualified tax professionals if they need help with preparing and filing their tax returns. "While most return preparers provide their clients with competent and professional service, there are unscrupulous tax preparers who prepare fraudulent returns that defraud the government, the tax-paying public and their own clients," said Toni Weirauch, the Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of IRS-Criminal Investigation ("IRS-CI").
IRS-Criminal Investigation Special Agents are responsible for investigating allegations of fraud committed by tax return preparers. "Ultimately, the taxpayer is responsible for what is on his or her tax return," said Weirauch. "You can often avoid problems, however, if you use your common sense and ask your paid tax preparer questions if something sounds too good or does not seem right.
To be forewarned is to be forearmed.
Filed under: 24/7 Wall St. Wire, Law, Tax