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Tax Defense Network: Ripoff Tax Preparers & How to Spot Them

December 15, 2011

Tax Defense Network hears about ripoff tax preparers all the time from clients who thought they were doing the right thing and having their taxes professionally prepared, only to find out months later there were too many deductions claimed or the numbers didn’t fully add up on their return. This is what we at Tax Defense Network call ripoff tax preparers.

Tax Defense Network Explains Ripoff Tax Preparers

During the peak of tax season, you cannot avoid seeing the young kid out front of a shopping mall, dressed as Lady Liberty or Uncle Sam, and holding a sign coaxing taxpayers to come in and have their taxes prepared. Most of these establishments are legitimate and established, but some have just set-up shop with only one goal, to get you the biggest refund possible by any means necessary.

Getting a big return is great for me right? Not necessarily. The way these shops rack in money is by charging you a percentage of your refund, so the bigger the refund, the more they can charge you. Tax Defense Network Ripoff Report investigated this further to find out there is more of these kinds of “tax preparers” in Florida than we thought.

A former Fort Pierce, Fl detective, along with his wife and business partner, prepared taxes for their community at their Premium Financial Services business for years until they were indicted on charges of tax fraud. The trio claimed false tax deductions on their clients’ returns in order to intentionally ripoff the United States government for an upwards $500,000. Furthermore, clients were faced with a tax debt because of the ripoff.

A Jacksonville, FL, man is now serving prison time for a First-time Homebuyers credit ripoff he pulled on for clients who had not bought a home, and/or had no plans to buy a home. He also claimed fraudulent business and work expenses, resulting in $216,000 in tax credits claimed over the course of two years. Of course, he charges his clients $1000 taxes preparation fee, but many were glad to pay it because of the large returns they were receiving.

Tax Defense Network: Ripoff Red Flags

Tax Defense Network ripoff findings made it clear taxpayers are unaware of the red flags they should look out for when looking for a professional to prepare their tax returns. Tax Defense Network has identified five main things to consider when having your taxes prepared by a tax preparer:

  1. Check to see how long they have been in business.
    Fly-by-night shops are the usual suspects.
  2. Check all credentials of the professional preparing your taxes.
    They should be proud to show you their degrees or certificates, if not, run.
  3. Check to make sure the professional has signed your return.
    If they do not want to attach their name to your taxes, then you shouldn’t either. Remember, once you sign the return, any resulting liabilities are your responsibility.
  4. Never sign a blank return.
  5. Beware of tax preparers whose fee is a percentage of your refund.
    They have more motivation to prepare your taxes with erroneous claims.

If you are a victim of a tax preparer ripoff, Tax Defense Network can help. We take pride in our A- rating with the Better Business Bureau and Chamber of Commerce membership. At Tax Defense Network, our goal is to help taxpayers resolve their IRS debt quickly and affordably. Remember, we will not take you on as a client unless we are sure we can help. Call us today for a free consultation about your tax issue.

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