Tax-prep complaints adding up, BBB says

The deadline to pay property taxes is January 31.

AUSTIN (KXAN) — The Better Business Bureau says there’s a rise in tax preparation complaints over the last three years.

According to the BBB, in 2013 they received nearly 4,000 complaints that included tax preparer-made errors that resulted in fines or fees. Other complaints allege customer service, billing, and contract issues.

This is also a busy time for identity thieves, according to the Federal Trade Commission. Identity theft during tax season occurs when someone uses another person’s Social Security number and personal information to file a tax refund, and this accounts for 40 percent of all identity theft complaints.

When searching for a tax preparer, the BBB recommends:

  • Get referrals from friends and family and check the BBB Business Review of the tax preparation service you plan to use.
  • Make sure your tax preparer is either a certified public accountant, a tax attorney or an enrolled agent.
  • Avoid any tax preparer who bases their fee on a percentage of the refund, and be wary of promises for larger refunds than the competition.
  • Make sure you’re able to contact your tax preparer at any time of the year – many tax preparation services set up shop for the months leading up to April 15.
  • Read the contract carefully provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Users who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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