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Can You Trust Your Maryland Tax Preparer?


Posted in on February 12, 2021

Each tax season, the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) warns taxpayers to be careful about their choice of tax preparers. This year, the IRS is focusing in particular on “ghost” preparers or those who complete taxpayers’ returns but don’t sign their names as required by federal law.

In many cases, taxpayers who hire “ghost” preparers (whether knowingly or unknowingly) will end up also needing to hire a Maryland tax lawyer. But, even taxpayers who hire legitimate tax preparers can end up facing IRS scrutiny. As a taxpayer, you are responsible for the contents of your tax returns—and this does not change if you hire someone to help you.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tax Preparer

With this in mind, when choosing a tax preparer, you need to choose wisely. You need to choose someone you can trust—ideally who has experience, a long client list and no history of issues with the IRS. The IRS also provides these recommendations for choosing a qualified professional to help you with your federal income tax returns:

  • Ask about Your Preparer’s Credentials and Qualifications – Not just anyone can rent a storefront or launch a website and start providing tax advice. All tax preparers need to have appropriate credentials and qualifications.
  • Research Your Tax Preparer Online – The IRS maintains a database of qualified and credentialed tax preparers. You can also check with various professional organizations to find out if someone who is claiming to be a tax preparer has the qualifications necessary to assist you.

What if Your Tax Preparer Makes a Mistake?

Let’s say you did your research (or maybe you didn’t), but your tax preparer still made a mistake. The IRS has launched an audit, and you are at risk for interest and penalties. What should you do?

At this point, you need to consult with a Maryland tax lawyer. Dealing with an IRS audit is not easy, but it is very easy to make costly mistakes. Your lawyer will be able to review your returns and supporting documentation, determine if your tax preparer made mistakes, and then help you deal with the IRS accordingly.

Depending on the circumstances involved, this may simply mean providing additional documentation to substantiate your return, or it could mean negotiating with the IRS to limit your penalties or seek an offer in compromise. In any case, you need to make informed decisions based on reliable advice, and you need to make sure you do everything necessary to mitigate the consequences of your tax preparer’s mistake.

Need Tax Help? Contact Maryland Tax Lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group

Do you need help dealing with the IRS? Are you facing substantial interest and penalties because of your tax preparer’s mistake? If so, we can help, but it is important that you contact us promptly. To discuss your situation with Maryland tax lawyer Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group, in confidence, call 240-235-5096, email ket@thornlawgroup.com or tell us how we can help online now.

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