Tax Preparer Danger Signs
This latest news release from the Calif. Franchise Tax Board, titled "FTB Reminds Taxpayers to Select Tax Preparers Wisely" has some good advice, along with a link to download their brochure on how to select an income tax preparer.
The following part of the news release sounds like it could be part of a Letterman Top Ten list; but it is unfortunately a true indication of the quality (or lack of) with some people in our profession.
Some common signs that a tax preparer may be abusive include:
· Claiming they can get bigger refunds than other tax preparers. Someone unfamiliar with your financial situation cannot make such a guarantee.
· Basing their fee on a percentage of the refund amount rather than the complexity of the tax return.
· Filing schedules where the information is fraudulent or lacks documentation to support the income or deductions.
· Refusing to sign the tax return as the paid preparer or not providing a copy for the taxpayer’s records. The preparer is required by law to sign the return.
· Require you to sign a blank return or in pencil.
· The preparer is not properly licensed or registered.