Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Jackson Hewitt? Did You Not Hear What Happened??

Just the other week I took a call from a taxpayer who had been audited by the IRS for 3 consecutive tax years. The person on the phone says to me, "I don't understand how mistakes were made. I had Jackson Hewitt handle the tax returns for those years."

Ahhhh. Now I understand. Apparently the taxpayer had not heard the news from this past summer. In April of 2007, the operators of more than 125 Jackson Hewitt Tax Service Inc. tax preparation offices were sued by the U.S. government. Jackson Hewitt was accused of cheating the U.S. Treasury out of more an $70 million through what the court ruled as a "pervasive and massive series of tax-fraud schemes." Ouch. That's not going to be good for business.

You have to understand, a lot of the tax prep offices employ people with no tax background and then run them through a crash-course on preparing taxes. In the end, they claim to have gotten you money back on your returns you wouldn't have received without their help. While this is true, you were actually getting money back you weren't entitled to in the first place. So now you are going to be out the money it cost to have the company prepare your taxes, you will have to pay the money back you received from the U.S. Treasury, and will now owe penalties and interest on that money you owe.

If you have several years of tax returns that need prepared, it is best to seek out the assistance of a professional firm with TAX and IRS EXPERIENCE. Don't rely on these tax prep chains that promise more money on a tax return. It will only cost you in the end.


As always, you can find an array of articles by perusing this site or by checking out my coworkers' individual sites:

Tax Negotiation
Little Miss Tax Lass
Tax Settlement

And if you need the assistance of a tax resolution firm, seek out the best: Effectur, Inc.

1 comment:

TippyTaxes said...

The IRS just published an artile with concerning "Advice for Choosing a Tax Return Preparer". It contained some great recommendations. Looks like your caller could have used these suggestions earlier.