Even the pros can't get it right. Undercover congressional investigators made 19 visits to commercial chain tax preparers and say they found mistakes on virtually every return they checked.
Only two of the 19 tax returns prepared for them had the correct refund amount, and both of those returns had errors elsewhere. The
auditors say the other incorrect refunds gave as much as two-thousand dollars extra to some taxpayers while taking away as much as 15-hundred dollars from others.
Tax preparers incorrectly recorded side income, the number of dependents, and itemized deductions. None of the preparers used
child-care expenses to claim the child and dependent-care credit.
Many of the preparers would have been subject to penalties if these had been real mistakes discovered by the Internal Revenue Service.