State back on track with processing tax returns after scammers
BATON ROUGE - The state is back on track in processing income tax returns and getting refunds out to you.
There had been some major delays after scammers filed more than 2,000 fake tax returns through TurboTax back in the beginning of tax season.
The Louisiana Department of Revenue says so far 1.1 million people have filed their state returns and more than 700,000 have received their refund. Local tax shops say they're seeing a rush of people working on both their federal and state returns.
"We are just rushing around", said Regina Blough with Jackson Hewitt tax services. "We basically have every desk filled with tax preparers to able to wait on every client that walks through the door, but you might have to have a longer wait, so I really encourage every taxpayers out there to please start coming in now."
The Department of Revenue encourages taxpayers to be selective when choosing a tax preparer. The following steps can help taxpayers protect themselves against tax-preparer fraud:
-Try to find a preparer who will be around to answer questions after the return has been filed.
-Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of the refund or who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers without first reviewing your returns.
-Review and ask questions before signing a return.
-Ask others that you know who have used that preparer if they were satisfied with the services that they received.
-Ask any preparer that you are considering for references.
-Ask and verify if the preparer belongs to a professional organization that requires its members to pursue continuing education and also holds them accountable to a code of ethics.
-Always question entries on your return that you don't understand.
-Never sign a blank return.
-Insist that the preparer sign the return and provide his appropriate information on the return.
Insist on receiving a copy of the return before it is filed.
The deadline to file federal taxes is April 15, and the state returns are due a month later.