Don’t forget to pay attention to the red flags of a shady tax preparer. In many cases, some fraudsters will tell you that by filling out a special form you might qualify for a government grant. These types of grants are not filed with tax returns, so watch out for this claim.
Also, be wary of tax preparers that encourage you to leave out some of your income, or who try to bend the rules a little bit in order to help you “qualify” for a deduction or credit that doesn’t really apply to you. These shady tax preparers are trying to get you a higher refund, but you might be at greater risk for an audit — and these types of preparers aren’t the kind to help represent you later.
Finally, watch out for tax preparers who base their fees on a percentage of your refund. This offers an incentive for them to fudge the numbers a bit. Instead, only work with tax preparers who have transparent fees, and who are willing to share them with you up front.
As you have your taxes prepared this year, make sure you are on the watch for shady practices that could put you in trouble.
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