Even though most return preparers provide excellent service, some file inaccurate tax returns in order to claim huge refunds. Before hiring a tax preparer, taxpayers must ensure that their tax preparer has an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). This unique number given by the IRS to every practising tax preparer ensures that they can track the preparer in case of tax fraud.
Abusive tax preparers either dupe taxpayers into believing that they can get large refunds by falsifying information on their returns or file false tax returns on their behalf without their knowledge. Taxpayers must review all information provided on a tax return before filing it to ensure it is correct.
It is important to remember that the final responsibility of correcting filing tax returns rests with the taxpayer. Even if someone else prepares and files the return, the IRS will consider the taxpayer responsible. The filing of false tax returns is subject to penalties and possible criminal prosecution.
A few precautions go a long way in ensuring that correct tax returns are filed. Checking the tax preparer’s ITIN, reviewing information on the tax return before filing, and staying safe from “tempting” offers of huge refunds are enough to stay protected from abusive tax preparers.