Tax season does not officially begin until Friday, January 31, and already there are problems. As I have mentioned on more than one occasion it is important that you know what you are signing and what your rights are as a client. I recently spoke with a young lady who changed her mind in regards to filing with a particular home based tax professional and has been told she must file with him.
What I do not do but other tax companies choose to do is transmit a tax return before the official date in which the Internal Revenue Service begins accepting returns. A return (1040EZ, 1040A, or 1040)that is transmitted from the preparers computer is actually sent to the main hub, or software company data bank, and then sent to IRS; currently there are thousands of returns waiting to be sent to IRS. A return is never sent directly to IRS, not from most of the tax preparation companies nor from independents such as myself. I chose not to transmit for numerous reasons primarily because there really is no need.
The young lady in question, not my client, after sitting with this gentleman and completing paperwork for a refund advance decided she did not want to file in the method she selected. The Tax Preparer told her it was to late; this is a lie. I advised her to read the paperwork she signed, it told her the steps to take to revoke her application.
As a Tax Filer your rights and responsibilities include:
- Giving your Tax Preparer truthful and accurate information.
- Knowing everything that is on your return.
- Signing the return BEFORE it is transmitted.
- If you are audited you will (not the tax preparer) be held liable for both additional taxes due, interest and penalties assessed against you.
When agreeing to receiving a check or bank card through your tax preparer you are agreeing to an advance on your refund. Because it is a bank that is facilitating your getting your money sooner :
- This is a contract between YOU AND THE BANK.
- You are responsible for giving accurate and truthful information.
- Your signature is required on forms provided by the bank in order to process the advance, it is your right to CHANGE YOUR MIND.
You must also be aware that should IRS not forward your refund to the bank YOU ARE LIABLE for repaying the bank, therefore you should be aware of the penalties associated if such an event occurs.
The young lady who now feels she is stuck with filing a return with someone she no longer wants to do business with by utilizing the numerous FREE tax preparation programs available. FREE IS VERY GOOD. TAX ACT, which happens to be the company that provides my tax preparation software, has a free on-line tax preparation service.
Why do I recommend you use a free service instead of coming to me? There are some returns that are really so simple that most people can do it themselves the old fashioned way (pen and paper); there are other returns that can be done by individuals with a little help. I am available for those who do not have the time, to prepare their own tax return, would rather someone else prepare their tax return, or they have a complicated return. Though my fees are reasonable FREE IS ALWAYS GOOD.