California and Hawaii Taxpayers must be careful with tax their tax preparer or face tax audit or criminal tax problems.

California and Hawaii Taxpayers must be careful with their tax preparer or face tax audit or criminal tax problems.

Long Beach Tax Attorney – For many IRS and California FTB taxpayers, this is the beginning of the tax return filing season. California Franchise Tax Board today reminded the more than 9.7 million taxpayers who use tax preparers for the income tax filing season to make sure their preparer is a qualified tax professional. Over the last several years there have been numerous IRS and FTB tax audits and tax court cases which have revealed a continuing pattern of tax fraud by certain tax preparers.

If you have been a victim of tax fraud or are in trouble with the IRS or FTB, you should consider consulting with a tax attorney.

“Taxpayers are responsible for errors made on their tax returns even if they are made by a tax preparer,” said Controller John Chiang. “If you use a tax preparer, make sure you are dealing with a qualified, honest and professional one.”

While honest tax preparers offer a valuable service to millions of taxpayers, dishonest tax preparers can manipulate tax returns to inflate expenses and deductions, claim unallowable credits or take excessive exemptions.

Last year, FTB investigators arrested four tax preparers on felony charges of filing fraudulent tax returns and FTB employees visited 715 tax preparation offices as part of their ongoing efforts targeting unlicensed tax preparers. Penalty letters were issued to only 91 unregistered tax preparers. Of those, 31 individuals complied and registered within the 90-day deadline, 28 stopped preparing returns, and 32 were assessed the $2,500 penalty for preparing tax returns without a license.

The IRS and FTB advise taxpayers to be aware popular claims made by fraudulent tax preparers:

Claiming they can get bigger refunds than other tax preparers. Someone unfamiliar with your financial situation cannot make such a guarantee.

Basing their fee on a percentage of the refund amount rather than the complexity of the tax return.

Filing schedules where the information is fraudulent or lacks documentation to support the income or deductions.

Refusing to sign the tax return as the paid preparer or not providing a copy for the taxpayer’s records. The preparer is required by law to sign the return.

Require you to sign a blank return or in pencil.

The preparer is not properly licensed or registered.

California tax residents in Alhambra Arcadia Artesia Beverly Hills Burbank Calabasas Carson Cerritos Chatsworth Culver City Diamond Bar Downey El Monte El Segundo Gardena Glendale Hacienda Heights Harbor City Hermosa Beach Hollywood Industry La Canada Lakewood Lancaster Lawndale Lomita Long Beach Los Angeles Malibu Manhattan Beach Marina Del Rey Montebello Monterey North Hollywood Northridge Norwalk Palmdale Pasadena Pomona Rancho Palos Verdes Redondo Beach Rolling Hills Rosemead San Dimas San Fernando San Gabriel San Marino San Pedro Santa Clarita Santa Fe Springs Santa Monica Sherman Oaks Studio City Torrance Valencia Van Nuys West Covina West Hollywood West Los Angeles and Woodland Hills may contact a tax attorney at 310 788 9820.