Don’t Get Fooled By The Cheap Price, Keep Your Eyes Open For Tax Preparer Fraud

Miami Tax Attorney, Magda Abdo-Gomez knows that tax season is rapidly approaching and advises to keep a careful eye for tax preparer fraud. With the convenience of the internet all around us, it is easy to shop around for the best price when it comes to your tax preparation services but be aware that not all are worthy of respect.

The Florida-based company, LBS Tax Services, had the unfortunate luck of being sued by the Texas Attorney General’s office for stealing from their clients. LBS Tax Services advertised “the maximum tax refund…for a fee of only $75” when in reality they would take over hundreds of dollars from their clients. LBS would have the IRS deposit client’s refunds into their own company account; once that process was done they would take their cut and provide their client with what was left. Client’s like Miami resident, Yolaysys Gonzalez said that LBS “charged me $900 and I said wow, I can’t believe it”. LBS then continued to charge her a service fee of $300 rounding up the total to a whopping $1,200, a quarter of the $4,800 refund they got for her.

Some clients walked away with barely a $100 dollars after LBS took away thousands from their refund. Angry clients would call the IRS to complain, only for the IRS to tell them that they never had their bank information; it was LBS’ bank account that was on file.

After the Florida Attorney General’s office launched their investigation on LBS last year, they immediately began to close their offices statewide. But that didn’t stop the company from coming back under a different name with the same false pretenses. LBS were now advertising under the name Tax Giant – still keeping the same address and phone number. When reaching out to old clients they would inform them that “they are the same company that last year did [their] taxes.”
It is because of companies like LBS that Miami Tax Attorney, Magda Abdo-Gomez, warns individuals and businesses to really do their research before handing out their income documents to any tax preparation firm. She advises that a good preparer will have no problem telling you the cost of service up front and it should be a standard flat fee not a percentage of your refund, they will always sign the tax return and include their Preparer Tax ID Number.

There are many reputable tax preparation and accounting firms in Miami that can provide services to both businesses and individuals, don’t fall into a trap because you’re just shopping for the “best price”. Look at the company’s history and their reviews especially, you can learn a lot by just calling them prior and asking a few questions.