Sweep Nets Hundreds of NYC Tax Preparers Violating Laws
February 29, 2012
two-week blitz by the New York City Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) on the
practices of tax preparers resulted in nearly 850 inspections citywide and
netted more than 1,000 citations to preparers who falsely represented their
qualifications, violated consumer rights, or unlawfully advertised refund
anticipation loans as "instant" or "rapid" refunds. Agency
officials said they issued violations to about one out of every three preparers
they inspected, and the total fines from the sweep could reach $1 million in
punitive damages. DCA Commissioner Jonathan Mintz and his department targeted
tax preparers charged with prior violations last year and in 2010 in addition
to other preparers located in neighborhoods with large minority populations and
high usage of refund anticipation loans. The department is urging residents to
take advantage of free or low-cost tax preparation options and to claim the
Earned Income Tax Credit.
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