– March 7, 2013 - During
this tax season, the Better Business Bureau (BBB) serving Chicago
and Northern Illinois advises taxpayers to avoid making common mistakes by
using caution when selecting tax preparation help. This step will avoid
headaches, fines or fees if the return is not correct or filed late.
In the past 12-month period the number of inquiries about
tax return preparation received by the BBB rose to 10,925 from 8,052. This was
an increase of 36 percent.
“A tax refund can provide much-needed aid for families
enduring financial hardship,” said Steve J. Bernas, president & CEO of the
Better Business Bureau serving Chicago and Northern Illinois. “The increase in our inquiries about
tax preparation shows that people are being more cautious about who they choose
for assistance in their taxes. Your BBB advises taking the time to be thorough
the first time around to avoid a headache in the future.”
The BBB offers the following tips for individuals still
working on their returns:
tax preparers you can trust for free at www.bbb.org
wary of Tax Refund Anticipation Loans. This is a loan provided by a third
party against a taxpayer's expected refund. The tax refund anticipation loan is
not provided by the U.S. Treasury or the IRS and is subject to the interest and
fees set by the lender. Some of these lenders have hidden fees and file
inaccurate tax returns without consumer consent.
for missing, incorrect or illegible Social Security Numbers which can delay a
must sign and date returns. Both spouses must sign a joint return, even with
one income. Anyone paid to prepare a return must also sign.
electronically instead of using paper tax forms to receive your refund more
any check out to “United States Treasury” and enclose it with, but don't attach
it to, your return or Form 1040-V, Payment Voucher. Include your Social
Security number, daytime phone number, the tax year and the type of form filed.
Be sure to keep all receipts and other documents
and forms that were used in preparing your tax return. IRS, generally, has
three years to audit a return. They can audit you without limitation if you do
not file, file a false return, or purposely avoid paying taxes.
For more advice on finding
professionals you can trust, visit www.bbb.org
As a private, non-profit
organization, the purpose of the Better Business Bureau is to promote an
ethical marketplace. BBBs help resolve buyer/seller complaints by means of
conciliation, mediation and arbitration. BBBs also review advertising claims,
online business practices and charitable organizations. BBBs develop and
issue reports on businesses and nonprofit organizations and encourage
people to check out a company or charity before making a purchase or donation.