Tips to avoid tax filing scams from the Better Business Bureau

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ST. LOUIS, Mo. — The Better Business Bureau is telling consumers to be aware of the potential for fraud as they prepare to file tax returns. Rushing to file could be a mistake, especially if you have a complicated return.

If you decide to hire a tax preparer the BBB advises the following:

  • Ask for referrals from friends, but review the preparer's customer service record at BBB.org or by calling 888-996-3887 before you hire anyone.
  • Be wary of promises that you'll get a refund. 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. You may need to contact your preparer after tax season is over.
  • Read the contract. Know what preparing your return will cost, what the fee covers and whether the cost changes if you have a complicated return.
  • Check your return: before you sign the return, read it over to check for mistakes. Ask the preparer to explain anything you don't understand. Don't forget to sign it.

Consumers may obtain a BBB business profile on an individual business at BBB.org or by calling 888-996-3887.

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