5 Signs You've Got a Lousy Tax Preparer
NEW YORK (MainStreet) -- Taxes are hard enough without having to deal with a lousy -- or worse, unethical -- tax preparer that could set you up for an unpleasant audit down the line. How do you know you've landed a rotten fish?
According to the Internal Revenue Service, more than 144 million tax returns were filed by individuals in 2010, with gross collections totaling about $1.2 trillion. Professional tax preparers handle about 60% of those returns.
|With your name on the line, it's important to make sure your taxes are done right.|
With that kind of dough on the line, taxpayers can't afford any mistakes -- but that's exactly what they seem to be getting from tax preparers. A 2006 study by the Government Accountability Office looked at a random sample of 19 tax preparers and found that all 19 made mistakes, including claiming too many exemptions, failing to claim allowable tax credits and missing tax deductions that could have saved them money.
So how do you know that you're risking a raw deal with your tax preparer? If you run into any of these scenarios, keep your guard up and your cash down -- and keep on looking for a licensed professional who knows what he or she is doing: