Bum Tax Preparers

Physician's Money Digest, October31 2003, Volume 10, Issue 20


The income tax code has gotten socomplicated that even taxpayers withnothing but W-2 wages are turning topaid income tax preparers to help filetheir 1040 forms. There aresome shady operators out there. Ask forreferences and credentials. If yourprospective tax preparer is an "enrolledagent" (www.naea.org), authorized torepresent you in front of the IRS, that's agood sign. Watch out for red flags,though, like promises that a preparer canget you a bigger refund, or fees based onhow much money you get back. And givea wide berth to preparers who peddleout-and-out scams, like claiming thatpaying your taxes is voluntary or that certaingroups, like African Americans, areeligible for special credits.