First day to file taxes, watch out for bad preparers
Tax filing season begins January 31st and the Louisiana Department of Revenue should be careful when choosing a tax preparer. Spokesperson Byron Henderson says authorities know that fraudulent tax preparers are out there because a bunch of them have been arrested.
"We have had a joint initiative going on with the Attorney General's office since 2013 and it has resulted in 13 arrests of Louisiana tax preparers for suspected fraud."
The most recent fraud case had a Lafayette based tax preparer arrested last week on several felony accounts including tax evasion and computer fraud. Henderson says there are steps you can do to protect yourself.
"We need tax payers to understand that they should always examine their returns very carefully... (and) that they should never sign a blank return."
Henderson says there are ways to easily spot a questionable tax preparer and consumers could be held liable for a fraudulent tax return even if it was prepared by a service.
"You want to avoid preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the amount of the refund or who claim that they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers without even reviewing your returns first."