We found the door locked and the phones disconnected at the Tampa tax preparer business where Alexandra and her daughter Allie had their tax returns done.
The women say they were quoted $150 per return. These taxpayers say the preparer helped themselves to $500 of their refund instead of the $150.
Allie claims she was instructed to pick up her check after dark in a random parking lot. We checked and found the preparer who signed the returns is registered with the IRS.
Alexandra and Allie never met her but say during both visits a staffer claimed they had computer problems so they left with no paperwork.
We met a couple outside of the business who told us they left their tax return documents here in February. As of last week they were still trying to contact the business to find out about their refund.
The IRS encourages taxpayers to report abusive preparers. You can do that by clicking here and filling out form 14157. Also it is best to always ask for a written copy of the preparer’s fees.
We caught up with the office manager and in an email the business explained they charged $500 because she “…. is a self-employed schedule c, the standard rate is $500. and all fees were discussed at the time of filing."
They stand behind Allie’s $500 fee as well. And as for her collecting her check at night in parking lot the manager explained: “The location was a meeting place that was convenient for both her and our employee to meet....."
The business has offered to file an amendment so Allie and Alexandra can file elsewhere. Both women have complained to the IRS.