The Legal Aid of Arkansas Low-Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) and the IRS are dedicated to preventing predatory tax return preparers from taking advantage of taxpayers. Predatory tax return preparers are preparers who target low-income individuals and charge them higher rates. It's important that you file both an accurate and on-time return and make smart choices when choosing a tax refund preparer if you decide to hire one.
All low-income taxpayers are eligible for free tax return preparation at Volunteer Income Tax Assistance sites. If, however, you really need to use a paid preparer, choose carefully. When choosing one, be sure to get references, check out their credentials, and double check their claims. No preparer can get you a refund faster than any other, despite what anyone might tell you. Lastly, always make sure to keep a copy of the filed return.
If you are having trouble with a preparer, there are many steps you can take:
1) Check the status of your account and refund on www.irs.gov
2) Call the IRS or visit their website to report bad behavior by a preparer
3) Call Legal Aid's LITC through our helpline at 1-800-9 LAW AID (1-800-952-9243)
4) Report refund problems caused by refund anticipation checks to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. You can do this by following the link below and completing the online form: http://www.consumerfinance.gov/complaint/#other-service
You may also find a number of helpful resources on the official IRS website. Here are a couple pages you can to refer to when choosing a tax return preparer:
Key words: LITC, taxpayer, tax return, IRS, tax preparer, Legal Aid