One good reason to use a professional tax preparer to do your taxes may be the cautionary tale that appeared the other day in a Washington State newspaper.

The Kitsap Sun reported that a Bremerton woman told police there that an older friend who prepared her taxes for two years had fraudulently received $4,884 in refunds from the IRS. The friend had taken her information over the phone, given the younger woman a much smaller amount in cash, and claimed that was the amount of the refund she had received.

When the younger woman needed to get a printout of her old tax returns, the friend claimed her printer was broken. Then when the taxpayer went to the IRS to get a copy of the returns, she found out her friend had claimed she had a day care business when she never had one.

That’s the kind of tax help and “friend” nobody needs.