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Innocent people pay for taxes filed incorrectly due to scams

It is tax time again. Numerous Massachusetts residents may anticipate refunds while others expect to pay. In either case, filings need to be made, and many people turn to others for help in maximizing refunds and minimizing payments. The problem is innocent people could end up paying for taxes filed incorrectly because they unknowingly became the victims of scammers.

Going to tax preparers for assistance may sound like a good idea, but Massachusetts residents may want to verify the qualifications and reputation of such individuals before doing so. If this cannot be done in advance, some clues could reveal a potential problem in the future. For instance, if a tax preparer claims that a higher refund could be obtained through "bending the truth" on a return, the individual taxpayer should get up and walk out.

Such tactics may work in the short term, but the taxpayer could end up with IRS problems in the near future, if the return even makes it through the system. The agency may view the return as fraudulent, and while preparers can be held liable for their actions, the taxpayer takes the brunt of it since he or she may owe more in taxes, plus penalties and interest. Other actions may be taken as well, depending on the situation.

In order to avoid dealing with taxes filed incorrectly, taxpayers should do some homework. However, if it is too late, and the IRS is knocking on the doors, now would be the time to bring in experienced assistance. A tax attorney can provide invaluable advice and assistance in protecting individuals' legal rights and finding the best resolution possible to the situation.

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