Finding a tax preparer you can trust

Finding a tax preparer you can trust

As you look to get your taxes done this year, we have a warning. There are fraudulent tax preparers who set up shop with the goal of stealing from you. Often people who are victims of these fraudulent tax schemes don’t know it until months later when they never get a refund. Not only is your money gone but thieves have your important personal information.

Special Agent Mark Wilson works at the IRS Criminal Investigation’s Houston Field Office shared a few tips that help avoid tax prep crimes:

  • Look for a preparer who is available year-round.

  • Make sure the tax preparer will sign the tax return they prepare for you.

  • Find a new tax preparer if you are asked to sign a blank tax return. You are ultimately responsible for what appears on your tax return, no matter who files it.

  • Verify where the IRS will deposit your tax refund. Your tax return should be deposited to your bank account, not your tax preparers.

One example of a type of fraudster taxpayer to watch for is David Wright. He was ordered to federal prison following his conviction of fraudulently filing tax returns from 2014 to 2017. Wright was sentenced on Nov. 1, 2022, to 36 months in federal prison and was ordered to pay $178,688 in restitution to the IRS.

Wright employed others to participate in the fraudulent activity and these fraudulent filings were done without the knowledge of the taxpayer clients. IRS-CI’s investigation revealed Wright and his employees prepared and submitted 43 fraudulent tax returns for 16 clients.

You can report fraud to law enforcement. Submit Form 3949-A, Information Referral, if you suspect an individual or a business is committing fraud.

*See the full Ask Amy episode with Special Agent Wilson here.

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