Group finds errors in tax returns in state probe

Published 8:02 am Thursday, January 22, 2009

MONTGOMERY — A group that helps low-income Alabamians says an undercover review of 13 commercial tax preparers found problems with all of them.

Impact Alabama sent people into 13 commercial tax preparers across the state earlier this month to get tax returns prepared. The sessions were recorded.

Impact Alabama President Stephen Black says all 13 returns contained omissions and mistakes. And 11 of the tax preparers claimed the Earned Income Tax Credit for the undercover taxpayers when they weren’t entitled to it.

Black said the tax preparation firms charged as much as $405 for relatively simple returns that didn’t require any itemization.

Black’s group trains college students to do tax returns for low-income families for free.