My colleage changed the preparer ID number on a tax return that I prepared, and inserted her own preparer ID number, with the aid and assistance of the office manager.
The 16-year-old client worked parttime in a food bar, came in with her mother and a newborn which she claimed was her own baby. I filed her as single, no dependants, but entitled to EIC with a qualifying child. The IRS thought differently, and rejected her return for incorrect SSN/mismatch. Several telephone calls later she and her mother admitted that the newborn was the sister of the 16-year-old. They reluctantly resigned themselves to my advice that the newborn did not entitle the 16-yr-old to EIC. The mother of the 16-year old (who is the baby's real mosther) does not file a tax return. (Welfare?)
The 16-year -old was entitled to get back her withholding of several hundred dollars, but otherwise did not need to file. I referred her to a couple of free local tax prep services, sent her back her copy of W2 and asked office manager to delete the return.
The office manager's pal, my colleage, grabbed on this tax return determined to second guess me and prove me wrong about the EIC. She went six ways to sidewise doing research,reinterviewing both the sixteen year old and the sixteen-year old's mother, researched the definition of "foster child", had the sixteen-year old come in again, and finally resubmitted the tax return JUST AS I HAD done it, minus the fraudulent child. She then changed her number on the return, claiming that she had put in many hours work on the tax return. Her comission on this is about $7.50 and the loss of cooperation of one formerly friendly and highly professional colleague.
Query: What shall I do about this, if anything?What is the company policy on changing numbers? What about second guessing and revisiting the work and client advice of a tax professional?
Make a copy of the income information worksheet, attach a message to the district office explaining the facts and they will fix it. Happened to me 2x this year. All taken care of. Oh the guilty parties, I took a few pages from Tony Saprano! Only kidding. Sort of. Both were newbies finishing a return I started and didn't know my number. Funny, can't type w/ broken fingers......
Sad to say, but this is more common than you could imagine. Last year, we found one preparer that loved to fill in for the recep..... she found a way to change preparer # in the POS, as she rang them up. Of course it was always HER # that went in...... We just lost a newbie that could of won the award for best newbie, as she was diligent in research & took on more complex returns, that she had put a lot of time into. She made a couple goofs on a rental.... I told her how to correct it, and after she corrected it, she asked another preparer to check it out... The other preparer put her # on it, after checking it! As the newbie said to be, it broke her... She was thrilled with this job till that happened. All that work, to have someone take it, spoiled everything for her. I have BEGGED my OM to call district and have the return given back to her, but when you have a do nothing, don't give a s--- manager, nothing gets done. In your case, you had sent the W2 back, and had given up the client.... that says it was OPEN for the next preparer. BUT, your Manager was wrong in NOT helping you save the client! BUT, I guess that's the "old" days when Managers knew taxes, and helped.