As we are in the prime season for tax filing, the IRS and U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles’ Office say they are watching out for dishonest tax preparers.
What we mean by that is that they will be putting on their deductions that the taxpayer is not entitled to. And, what I would encourage taxpayers to do, is even though you are paying the person to fill out your tax return, you know what deductions you are entitled to, and more importantly they can look and if there are deductions on there that they know they are not entitled to, they need to insist they be taken off.
Nettles says the IRS has a new software that is tracking similar patterns from year to year.
If they see a pattern from a tax preparer in terms of deductions, they will go back over the tax returns and at the end of the day both the tax preparer and the person who signed it, the taxpayer, is being true, will both be subject to being arrested.
Nettles says the tax preparer usually commits such a crime when–
They make promises to the taxpayer in terms of money they can quote, unquote save them by preparing the tax return. And, what they are doing is rather than going through and putting down legitimate deductions, they are putting down deductions that are not legitimate, deductions they are not entitled to, which then lowers the tax exposure to the taxpayer.
This type of crime is common, especially this time of year. Nettles says the tax preparers absolutely know what they are doing is illegal.
In order to make a proper deduction, you have to actually have the information from the taxpayer. So, they know they are putting down deductions the taxpayer is not entitled to, and the taxpayer should, before they sign it, look over it and make sure there is not anything illegal on there.
Nettles says when choosing a tax preparer, choose someone reliable, and make sure you ask the tax preparer what the numbers on your tax return are for. He says once you sign, you are responsible.
The charges vary for dishonestly preparing taxes. Nettles says it could result in jail time. The U.S. Attorney’s Office has just made six arrests involving fraudulent tax preparers.