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Jon Andrews
Jon Andrews, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 3118
Experience:  I deal with all levels of tax planning and controversy - from the ordinary to the complex.
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Customer Question

I have been summoned to appear before an IRS special agent because my tax preparor is under criminal investigation.What do I do? Do I need an attorney.Do I go? The summons referenced three years of tax returns in question which the preparer did for me. I suspect he may have over stated some deductions returns he has prepared for his customers resulting in an inflated refund and fee to him. HELP.

Submitted: 11 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  marty replied 11 years ago.

The summons is an order from the court for you to appear as a witness, probably against the
preparer. You MUST appear, failure to appear could result in a warrant
for your arrest. At this time, you have not been charged with any
crime, they are just looking for your HONEST testimony. The big
question will be if he "willingly and knowingly" falsified your
(and others) return.

They will let you know what is expected of you. If you participated in
the act (told him to cheat) you may want to consult counsel, but at
this time they are only interested in "the big fish"

Good luck!!


Expert:  Jon Andrews replied 11 years ago.

You absolutely need to appear and I would HIGHLY RECOMMEND that you seek competent counsel to assist/represent you.

Although they are probably primarily concerned with the preparer, YOU are ultimately responsible for what is on your return - you had to have signed your return - and, if they are looking at this preparer's returns, yours will be a part of the process.

This is NOT a time to try to handle this on your own.

If need be, let me know and I can get you some recommendations.

[email protected]
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to marty's Post: I know nothing about tax prep that is why I use his services. Some research I have done on the web suggests pleading the 5th on every question is the way to go because you could never be criminally charged by the Justice Dept<this would protect me from any jail time in relation to the justice dept. inquiry>. If this is a fishing expedition and I answer a question incorrectly, I could incriminate myself without even knowing it. Yes or no? Why get involved at this point? Don't forget, this is a criminal investigation on him. It could easily be turned into one for me if I unknowingly answer one of their questions incorrectly. Remember, they haven't even told me why I have been summoned. Therefore, I am going in there blind. They also said I don't need to bring any documentation except my driver's liscence. There is no way to prepare and I don't have copies of my returns handy. How can I answer questions about a return I did not prepare? It sounds like a recipe for disaster.

Help or please forward to a tax attorney.

Thanks. I will send addional $$ if necessary. I need an answer.
Customer: replied 11 years ago.
Reply to Jon Andrews's Post: If you can suggest someone in Dallas, please let me know.


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