What To Do If a Tax Preparer Messes Up Your Return

Filing taxes can be complicated and stressful, and mistakes on your return can complicate things even further. But what happens if a tax preparer makes a mistake on your return? Understanding the steps you can take if a preparer messes up your taxes will help you rest assured that you’re taking the right steps to get your return corrected.

What to Do If You Find a Mistake From Your Tax Preparer

  • Contact the Preparer: If you find an error on your tax return, the first step is to contact the tax preparer who completed your return. Explain the mistake you found and ask if they would be willing to correct it. Many times, preparers will fix it without charging an additional fee.
  • File an Amendment: If the tax preparer is unable or unwilling to correct the mistake, you may need to file an amendment to your return. An amendment (Form 1040X) must be completed and filed with the IRS to make corrections to your return. It’s important to note that you may be responsible for any additional taxes, penalties, or interest due as a result of the mistake.
  • File a Complaint: If you’re not satisfied with how your tax preparer handled the situation, you may want to file a complaint with the IRS. You can submit Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer. The IRS will review your complaint and may take action against the preparer if they determine that the preparer acted inappropriately.
  • Seek Professional Help: If you’re still unsatisfied with your complaint’s outcome, you may seek help from a professional tax attorney or CPA. They can help you understand your rights and the best way to proceed.

Is A Tax Preparer Liable for Mistakes?

You are responsible for any errors or omissions on your tax return, even if a tax preparer prepared it. If the tax preparer makes a mistake that causes you to owe additional taxes, penalties, or interest, you are the one who must pay those fees, not the tax preparer.

Are accountants liable if you’re audited?

No, accountants are not liable if you are audited. The IRS determines if a taxpayer has complied with federal tax laws. If the IRS finds discrepancies in a taxpayer’s return, the taxpayer is ultimately responsible for any taxes, penalties, or interest that may be due.

 Suing A Tax Preparer for Mistakes

If you believe that your tax preparer has made errors or omissions on your return that have caused you to owe additional taxes, penalties, or interest, you can file a civil lawsuit against the tax preparer.

Generally, you must be able to prove that the tax preparer was negligent in preparing your return and that the mistakes were directly responsible for the additional taxes, penalties, or interest that you owe. It is important to note that the IRS does not get involved in any civil disputes between taxpayers and tax preparers.

To Sum Up

If a tax preparer messes up your return, it can have significant consequences for you and your preparer. It is important to review your return carefully and, if necessary, seek professional advice. In addition, if you believe that your preparer has made an error, contacting them as soon as possible is important to rectify the situation. With the proper steps and guidance, you can ensure that your taxes are properly filed and that any errors are corrected promptly and efficiently.

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