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December 10, 2014

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Allegedly abusive tax preparers, part 2: making a strong defense

In part one of this post, we outlined efforts by the IRS to crack down on paid tax preparers whom the agency considers incompetent or deceitful.

The penalties that the IRS can seek against return preparers are both civil and criminal. But as we noted, the agency’s main enforcement program is run by the Criminal Investigation (CI) division of the IRS.

In this part of the post, we will discuss how to respond to allegations of abusive tax preparation practices.

When you run into an issue with the IRS concerning the Return Preparer Program (RPP), it makes sense to start by getting appropriate legal counsel. An experienced tax attorney can advocate for you and ease your anxiety by explaining what’s going on.

A tax attorney can not only help you if you are accused of being an abusive preparer. An attorney can also assist if you are a taxpayer who faces tax charges or penalties involving allegations of fraud or other wrongdoing on your return.

Keep in mind that there are times when you should seek counsel even if the IRS has not yet contacted you. Investigations into alleged tax fraud or abusive return preparers generally require the sifting of a lot of financial information. If IRS investigators have contacted your bank or investment adviser seeking financial information about you, it is wise to get a plan in place to defend yourself against possible charges.

For more information on our practice in this area, please see our page on the investigation of tax preparers.

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