I filed my return with one company and they haven’t provided me with a copy of my return (printer was broken), can’t give me any info to check online, and barely returns my calls. Can I cancel with them and file elsewhere??
The answer to your question really depends on where the tax return is in the system.
If the tax preparer has prepared but not filed your return with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) (and/or state), you should be able to cancel those services. Whether you owe for any work depends on the arrangement or contract you had with the preparer.
However, if the tax preparer has already filed your return, you can’t cancel at this point. And you definitely don’t want to go to any other place and file again. If the return has already been transmitted to the IRS (and/or state), filing again will likely result in your return getting booted back and flagged for potential fraud. That’s going to slow the processing of your original return and any tax refund that you might be due.
That said, you are definitely entitled to a copy of your return. You noted that they “barely” return your calls. I would make another effort to obtain a copy of the return, and follow-up in writing. If it’s an honest mistake, give the preparer the opportunity to make it right in the event that there’s some kind of misunderstanding. But if there’s something else going on (and I’ll admit that my spider-senses are tingling here), you need to be more proactive. Remember, your tax preparer has a great deal of your personal and financial information – which is why it’s important to choose carefully from the start.
If your tax return and/or tax refund has not been impacted – which sounds like the case – and the tax preparer is simply unprofessional, you can report him or her to the IRS. To make a report, fill out form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer (downloads as a PDF). You’ll want to send it together with all supporting documentation to the IRS by fax or mail:
- If by fax, 855-889-7957
- If by mail, Attn: Return Preparer Office, 401, W. Peachtree Street NW, Mail Stop 421-D, Atlanta, GA 30308
However, if you believe that your identity was stolen, don’t file form 14157. Instead, you’ll want to file form 14039, Identity Theft Affidavit (downloads as a PDF). This will necessarily cause extra scrutiny with respect to the filing of your returns, so don’t file this form unless you have good reason to believe that your identity has been stolen (being ticked off at your tax preparer isn’t enough).
Depending on the tax preparer’s credentials, you may also want to report him or her to their professional licensing and/or disciplinary boards:
- To find out how to report an attorney, contact the disciplinary board or state bar association in your state.
- To find out how to report a CPA, contact the state agency that licenses CPAs in your state. The AICPA maintains a list of state agencies here.
- Because EAs (enrolled agents) are federally-licensed, there is no mechanism (or need) to report them to a state accountancy board or state bar association. The form 14157 is sufficient.