Business Buzz: DOR implements measures to increase taxpayer information
The Colorado Department of Revenue (CDOR), in conjunction with other states, has identified an increase in potentially fraudulent activity on individual income tax returns, according to a press release from the department.
CDOR is closely monitoring income tax filings and working with other states and industry members to protect the security taxpayer data and to ensure taxpayers receive the tax refund to which they are entitled.
In light of an emerging increase in suspicious filings, CDOR is requesting that a refund be directly deposited into a bank account or onto a prepaid debit card. The department also will convert such tax refunds to paper checks to be mailed to the taxpayer. Sending a paper check to the taxpayer’s mailing address is intended to prevent criminals from easily diverting fraudulent refunds to their own prepaid, reloadable cards or debit cards.
Taxpayers are encouraged to verify the current status of their state income tax return and refund by going to http://www.colorado.gov/revenueonline and clicking on “Where’s My Refund?” Taxpayers concerned about the security of any personal information provided to a tax preparation software service should contact the software vendor they use to electronically file their state income tax return.
BBB tips for finding tax preparer
In 2014, Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming received 4,129 inquiries about tax professionals, including CPAs (1,341), accountants (1,027), tax-return services (1,102) and tax consultants (659), according to a BBB press release.
“Inquiries for tax-related businesses have increased over the previous year, which tells us that consumers want to ensure they’re dealing with trustworthy professionals for both their tax and accounting needs,” Shelley Polansky, vice president of communications for Better Business Bureau Serving Northern Colorado and Wyoming, said in a statement.
Your BBB offers these tips:
Ask for referrals. Find out who your friends, family, even colleagues use to prepare their taxes and then check BBB Business Reviews at bbb.org to learn more about the business and to read customer reviews.
Check credentials. Is the preparer a CPA, accountant or enrolled tax agent? Does the preparer belong to a professional organization that requires members to adhere to a code of ethics?
Be wary of promises. Don’t be swayed by promises of big refunds. Until the preparer knows your situation, there is no way to know whether you’ll get a refund or how big it will be.
Check accessibility. Will the tax preparer be available to answer questions year-round? Or does he or she maintain office hours only during tax season?
What’s the cost? Does the preparation fee include later changes to your return? Will the fee increase if you have a complicated return? Will the preparer represent you in case of an audit?
Review the return before signing it. Review your tax return and ask any questions before signing the return. Never sign a blank return. Make sure you receive a copy for your own records. And make sure the paid preparer signs the return along with his or her preparer tax identification number.
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