taxes

6 tax terrors and how to overcome them without therapy

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Afraid my tax adviser is inept or a crook
Afraid my tax adviser is inept or a crook | Best View Stock/Getty Images

Afraid my tax adviser is inept or a crook

Unfortunately, sometimes this fear is well-founded. A few years ago, a Government Accountability Office investigation into commercial tax-prep chains in big cities produced the alarming finding that all the returns from those offices were wrong to some degree.

The Department of Justice's Tax Division regularly shuts down tax preparation businesses for filing allegedly bogus returns on behalf of clients.

The remedy: Thoroughly investigate several potential preparers before handing over your personal tax documents. Check histories with the Better Business Bureau and look for any disciplinary actions taken by regulators, the state bar association or the IRS.

Once you're a client, don't take every recommendation at face value. Ask questions, and make sure you understand the answers.

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