Have a Tax Question? Ask a Tax Expert
HelloCustomer Thank you for coming to Just Answer and allowing us to help with your tax problem. I am very sorry to hear that you are having difficulties with your previous and current tax preparers. If I am correctly reading your question, H&R Block was responsible for the error on your 2006 return. There is a 3 year period in which the IRS will return money to taxpayers if the original return is amended. You will have to have the 2006 taxes amended and sent to the IRS before april 15, 2010 or the IRS will never pay you the money that you are owed under any circumstances. If it is at all possible, you need to go back to the H&R Office that performed the incorrect return and have them correct their mistake by correctly preparing the amended return at no cost to you. If the mistake was clearly theirs, they should give you a fight about it. If the mistake was clearly theirs and they won't help you, demand to know the location and phone number of their district office and the name of the district manager. The district manager should fix the problems.
If H&R Block didn't start the problem or it can't be proven to clearly be the result of their mistake, then your situation is trickier. H&R Block will amend the return for you, but you will have to pay them to correct it. Depending on the type of poblem, they will charge from about $50 t0 $100. If you don't want to work with them at all ever again, then you go to the office where your return was prepared and you demand that they give all of your paperwork back to you. Then, you take the paperwork to another preparer and have them prepare the amended return.
If either of the tax preparers continue to claim that they mailed all of your paperwork to you and that they didn't keep anything, they're not telling you the truth. A tax preparer is required by law to keep the tax forms they fill out, a copy of your w-2(s), and a copy of any 1099 forms you receive. These are the minimum paperwork a preparer needs to fix the return needed amended. A lot of items can be gotten of the internet. If you can't get your W-2s, either the IRS has a copy or the state has a copy of your earnings and withholdings, so at worst go to the Social Security office, the IRS office, and the state bureau of employment and request an earnings statement for 2006.
For your 2008 return, basically follow the same routine listed above, try and make them print off another copy of your tax return (it is on their computer) and give it to you. If no return was filed, your tax preparer should offer to fix the problem for you. If they don't, demand that they print enough copies of the return to send to all of your taxing authorities (federal, state?, Local? and one for you). Then you just mail in the 2008 return yourself to the various agencies. Your state tax office might be able to help you a lot with that.
Also, you should look around your house for your 2006 papers. Most of the national tax preparation companies will give the client a folder with copies of everything needed for the return in the folder. If you can find the folders, you'll be a much better position.
It's up to you whether you want to sue the preparer in small claims court. It sounds like they messed up enough that you have a chance on winning a settlement. However fixing your 2006 taxes should be your first priority. The IRS will be adding interest and penalties to your tax bill every day. You also probably need to charm the companies into giving them the papers you need (hopefully) and you can't charm them when your suing them.
I hope these suggestions help. Please let me know if you would like me to provide any
additional information or if I keep to clarify a point for you. Thank you
Hello again. I have just reread my original answer and I'm sorry to see that I made a number of typos that I didn't catch. Let me correct my original answer and then we'll continue from there. If H&R Block made a mistake on the return that they prepared, they will create an amended return for you with no charge for correcting their mistake. They should not fight with you if they made a mistake. If the office manager of the office you worked with is reluctant to amend the return for you, then ask to speak to the district office and the district manager.
H&R Block keeps computer files of all tax returns that they prepare. Unless there was an unusual situation, the H&R Block office that you worked with in 2006 (which year's taxes were incorrectly prepared, 2006 or 2007?) will have a copy of the original tax return that was filed with the IRS. If H&R Block made the error in your 2006 return, they will amend your 2006 return to correct the error for free. The only records you may need to correct your 2006 return would be related to the error. If you tell me what the error was, I may be able to tell you whether you need to get other paperwork and where to get it. If the H&R Block office manager doesn't think that the error was caused by H&R Block, they will still have the original paperwork and they will still help you fix your return, but there may be fees associated with the amended return.
Was the return for last year's taxes ever filed with the IRS or did your tax preparer send you the forms to file by mail? If the tax return for last year was never filed, then you should contact your employers and any other organization that sent you tax information that you gave to your tax person and see if they can send you another copy of last year's information. If you can get your employer to give you additional copies of your W-2s, then you can have another tax preparer prepare last year's return again and you can file it with the IRS. As long as you didn't owe any money to the IRS, there won't be penalties for the return being filed late. If you did owe, then you will have to pay penalties and interest to the IRS on the money you didn't pay them last year. Either way, you want to file last year's tax return as soon as possible if it wasn't filed.
If you can't get copies of your income papers from your employer(s), you can get an income statement for last year from your local Social Security office and a tax preparer can make a substitute W-2 form from the earnings statement.
The first thing you need to do is to contact the H&R Block office that prepared the incorrect tax return and work with them to amend that return and fix the problem. If they don't have the original return that needs corrected, they can explain to you how to get a copy of that return from the IRS. Also, talk to last year's tax preparer and see if any return was filed for you last year. If no return was filed, contact your employers and see if you can get copies of last year's W-2s. If you can't, contact your local social security office and tell them that you need an earnings statement for next year. Once you have either the W-2s or the earnings statement, then contact a new tax preparer (I would still recommend H&R Block) to prepare a new return for last year.
I hope this helps clarify things. I apologize for the typos in my previous answer (I must have been more tired than I realized). Let me know if you need more information and if you give me more specifics on the error made in your previous return, I may be able to tell you where to get replacement documentation if needed.