You are legally responsible for everything listed on your tax return even if you followed the advice of a tax return preparer. Most preparers are trustworthy and provide good service, but if you choose one who is not honest or is not properly trained, you could pay the consequences. This can include:
- Owing back taxes due to incorrect credits or deductions being taken
- Receiving a smaller refund than you are due because of the preparer’s lack of knowledge about credits or deductions
- A delay in receiving your refund due to mistakes
- An audit to determine whether your return is correct
- Owing more taxes, penalties, or interest, or getting a smaller refund than you should due to your preparer’s lack of knowledge
In the worst case, choosing an untrustworthy tax preparer could open you up to being a victim of fraud or misconduct. Read more about return preparer fraud or misconduct, how to recognize it, and how to protect yourself.