IRS Tax Preparation: You Can’t Trust Just Anyone with Your Taxes

There is a fine line to be walked when it comes to dealing with the IRS. On one hand, no taxpayer wants to pay a penny more than he or she owes the agency. And in many cases, taxpayers desperately need protection from overly aggressive IRS collections action. But on the other hand, going as far as actually cheating the IRS only leads to disaster.

And unfortunately, there are plenty of unscrupulous “tax preparers” across the country who make a living from cheating the IRS. In many cases, they take advantage of their clients who oftentimes don’t know any better. SeattlePI.com reports on a recent episode involving a phony tax preparer and countless low-income clients:

For a man who admitted to cheating the IRS out of millions of dollars for his destitute clients, Cleo Reed doesn’t sound all that sorry.

Facing four years in prison, Reed previously admitted to filing hundreds of fraudulent tax returns prepared for Americans without any income. The IRS paid out at least $4.3 million to Reed and his clients in refunds obtained through lies.

While prosecutors describe him as an admitted fraud caught on tape saying he likes “f—ing with the government,” Reed would cast himself as a man who answered a “spiritual calling” to help “the underemployed, disabled, and veterans of this great land” by cheating tax collectors.

“As I see it, these are real people, doing real work and they should be entitled to the same rights and privileges as every other working American,” the University Place tax preparer said in a letter to the court. “Being the humanitarian that I am, I felt it was my constitutional responsibility to inform the poor and underemployed of their patriotic obligation to report all earned income to the U.S. government.”

Reed, operator of We B Tax Services and scheduled to be sentenced Friday in U.S. District Court at Tacoma, went on to give himself credit for helping others pay their child support and debts, and for stimulating the economy.

It is certainly easy to understand the appeal of cheating on your taxes. After all, most of us would have no trouble coming up with ways to spend our money that we’d enjoy a whole lot more than giving to the government! But there is a clear line between legally limiting your tax liability and cheating. And crossing that line doesn’t end well for anyone concerned.

When choosing a professional to assist with your taxes, be sure to choose someone who is licensed, experienced, and has a track record of both successful and honest dealings. It can be tempting to work with an individual that is willing to break the law in order to generate a larger refund, but that is a road you don’t want to go down.

Should you find yourself in trouble with the IRS, we can help. Our team is thoroughly versed in tax law and will fight tirelessly for your rights. If you’d like to learn more, please contact us today!