H&R Block Identity Theft Victim Gets Victimized Again in IRS Audit
Tim Geithner is probably laughing somewhere going "well shit, shoulda used TurboTax!" and frankly, JDA is kind of giggling herself.
First the guy gets ripped off by an unscrupulous H&R Block employee and then gets audited by the IRS. It's a hard knock life, eh?
The Post Tribune live from East Chicago:
A victim of an alleged identity theft scam by a tax preparer still is waiting for his refund check.
Byron "Duke" Florence was counting on a few thousand dollars from the IRS this January when he went to file his 2009 tax return at an H&R Block at 3932 Main St. in his Indiana Harbor neighborhood, the same place he'd filed the previous three years.
Staff at the branch told him he'd apparently already filed his 2009 form, and the IRS told him his check had been sent-- and deposited. Florence went to police, where he found three other H&R Block clients waiting in line to report similar stories.
Last Thursday, tax preparer Francesca Foster was arrested and charged with identity theft for allegedly using H&R Block tax records to file fraudulent claims-- totaling nearly $300,000-- for at least 60 customers.
Shortly after he made his report, Florence said he filled out a second tax return with the help of IRS agents assigned to his case. Last week, he received a letter from the IRS with the heading "We're Auditing Your Tax Return And Delaying Your Refund."
"I thought, 'Damn. I went through all this, got robbed, and now I'm getting an IRS audit?' " Florence said Thursday. "I didn't do anything wrong but trust people to look after my business."
Alright, let's break this down issue by issue.
First and foremost, WTF was Florence doing at H&R Block in the first place? It's the McDonald's of tax preparation and I'm sorry but if you go in there expecting filet mignon, don't go whining that you ended up with a Filet O Fish. The kids at the Block make just about as much as the kids at McDonald's so if you want to put your Schedule C in those hands, by all means. Just don't bitch when it gets screwed up.
Secondly, what happened to doing your own taxes? Seriously. I'm asking. And I expect an answer. My grandpa taught me how to do it in high school, it's really not that fucking difficult. Grab a calculator and stop being lazy.
Thirdly, if you're not of the set that can pull together a W-2 and a few 1099s, find a CPA, cheap ass.
And finally... well... there is no finally. I've said enough.