Washington (April 3, 2003) -- More than half of the 130 million individual filers paid preparers $14.7 billion to file their returns in 2000, but a significant number of them were harmed by the preparers' mistakes, according to Sen. Chuck Grassley. Chairman of the Committee on Finance.

 

Grassley urged taxpayers to be careful using paid preparers to do their taxes.  "I think most of us figure we'll get the best possible financial outcome by having professionals do our taxes than by doing them ourselves."

 

"It's counterintuitive that professionals actually could make us worse off," he said.  Grassley made his comments after testimony from the General Accounting Office at a Finance Committee hearing on consumer issues during tax season.  

 

"It's shocking that paid preparers sometimes make very basic mistakes," Grassley continued, "like not advising folks to itemize instead of claiming the standard deduction.  That seems like Tax Prep 101.  Clearly taxpayers need to have their eyes open when choosing a tax preparer.  And the IRS needs to increase its focus on the bad apple tax preparers as well."

 

-- Electronic Accountant Newswire staff

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