Picking the right tax-preparer | News
Coco did a "no-no" -- and got away with it.
Coco is Carline Barrett, a bogus tax preparer Andy Wise busted last year almost a year to the day, preparing fraudulent tax returns. She fudged deductions and faked dependents, all from the back of a Parkway Village barbecue restaurant.
As of this writing, IRS agents have not arrested her for what was uncovered.
That story is why Andy's sharing these great tips from GoBankingRates.com on picking the right tax-preparer:
- IDENTIFY THE PREPARER'S PTIN. That's the preparer's personal tax identification number. Every legitimate tax-preparer has one. You have the right to know it. If a preparer cannot produce one that can be verified by the IRS, do not hire that preparer.
- E-MAIL THE IRS OFFICE OF PROFESSIONAL RESPONSIBILITY. Confirm a preparer's PTIN and reputation by e-mailing the office: firstname.lastname@example.org.
- CHECK PREPARER'S BBB HISTORY. See if the preparer has racked up a record with the Better Business Bureau of the Mid-South.
- BE SURE BEFORE YOU SIGN THE RETURN. "When you sign your tax return, you're personally guaranteeing that everything is accurate and true," said GoBankingRates.com's Managing Editor Casey Bond. "Even if it was your accountant who made a mistake and not you, in the eyes of the IRS, you're ultimately responsible."
For GoBankingRates.com's complete guide to avoiding tax fraud, please click here.