Some people use a tax preparer to submit their returns and generally accept that the government deposits the refund into their own bank account on file. But that is not always the case. Taxpayers sometimes arrange for refunds to be deposited in their business accounts to retain part of the refund for payment. This process can help because it allows you to pay your tax preparation fee when your refund arrives, instead of getting a bill later on. Other times, such arrangements but you at the risk of theft with unscrupulous tax preparations. Learn more about how to protect your money.
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Rules on tax preparations
In January 2010, the IRS proposed a new set of tax preparation rules. Tax preparations are now subject to rules that promote better education and compliance for tax preparers. The measures initiated by the IRS are a partial response to the misconduct of tax preparers. The new requirements for paid taxpayers who are not lawyers include mandatory accounting certificates proof of competence. Continuing education and higher ethical standards by certified public accountants or registered agents. In addition, the IRS is adding to the staff of the Office of Professional Responsibility to ensure that allegations of tax fraud are thoroughly investigated and those tax fraud suspects are prosecuted.
If your tax preparer has stolen your refund, complete and send a complaint form to the Treasury Inspector General for the Tax Administration. The online form can be found on the office website. You can also send a written complaint to the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility. The letter must contain the name and address of your tax preparer. As well as a detailed account of the preparer’s misconduct. However, remember that complaints to the Office of Professional Responsibility are only for registered agents. If your tax preparer is not a registered agent you must complete an IRS form to contact the tax inspector and complete form 3949-A to file your complaint.
Returning the Money
While the Office of Professional Responsibility cannot force preparers to return their money, the inspector can take additional measures to enforce the law. If your refund has been accepted for your refund, it is best to contact the tax inspector first and then the professional liability agency.
When a tax collector completes your return, be sure to sign and return the return. The law requires tax preparers to sign the declaration, and if your preparation seems reluctant to do so, this should be your red flag. Also, since you are ultimately responsible for the return, make sure that the items listed are accurate before signing them. Do not sign a blank statement.
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