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tax preparartion service impropriety?

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#1 lilbit2u2


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Posted 06 February 2013 - 09:45 PM

i live in alabama....divorced me,my ex, and kids all under same roof however. i have been going to the same tax service for my income tax return for 12 years or more. and requested this one worker for many years..includig this year. she done my return when i was marriedas well as divorced. my ex calls her and she tells him my dollar amount federal and state that i would be receiving. then she calls and tell me she wouldput a hold on my return if i did not assure her that i was going to split my federal with my ex. then my ex said he talked to her again and she i would have to have him there with me when i picked up my check for my tax return and that i could call her back to confirm this...help

#2 Tax_Counsel


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Posted 07 February 2013 - 01:49 AM

Your facts are a little muddled, but as I understand it your tax preparer disclosed information about your separate tax return (i.e. you were not filing a joint return) to your ex-husband without your permission. If that's correct, then your tax preparer has potentially violated two federal laws. The first is Internal Revenue Code (IRC) section 7216, which makes it a federal misdemeanor offense for a return preparer to knowingly or recklessly disclose return information to others. Violations of IRC § 7213 may be reported to the IRS. The information you need to make the report may be found on the IRS web site here: Make a Complaint About a Tax Preparer.

The second is a federal law known as the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act. The privacy provisions of this Act are codified at 15 U.S.C. §§ 6801-6809. These provisions require firms in financial businesses (which includes tax return preparation) to provide privacy statements to customers and bars them from disclosing nonpublic information to third parties except as allowed by the privacy statement. For an overview of this Act, including specific mention that tax preparers are covered by this Act, see the FTC explanation of Gramm-Leach-Bliley. Violations of this Act by tax preparers is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission. You may make complaints to the FTC online here: FTC complaints.

I suggest that you make her aware of these requirements and that she's likely already violated both of them and that should she further disclose any information to your ex or in any way involve him in your return (including interfering with picking up the refund check) that will also likely violate the Act. If she's at all bright, she'll get the hint that you may end up reporting her and she could face serious consequences if she keeps this up. Hopefully that will put an end to it. If it doesn't, make the reports to the IRS and the FTC. You might want to do that anyway. If your return has not been submitted for processing yet, I suggest you go to another preparer to get it done. This one is not well informed of her obligations as a tax preparer, and that sends up all kinds of warning flags about her competence. Even if you do complete the return with her this year, find a completely different firm next year. This preparer is trouble. Even if she didn't know the specific statutes, she certainly should have known that disclosing your return information to anyone, including your ex, isn't permitted.

#3 adjusterjack


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Posted 07 February 2013 - 10:41 AM

I would report her to the IRS in a heartbeat.

Warning: Legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here are simplified and might not fully explain the ramifications of your particular issue. I am not a lawyer. I do not give legal advice. I make comments based on my knowledge and experience. I guarantee nothing. If you act on my comments without the advice of an attorney, you do so at your own risk.

#4 Guest_FindLaw_Amir_*

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Posted 07 February 2013 - 11:09 AM

Great references Tax_Counsel.

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