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Tax Preparer

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BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com | January 12, 2010
T he days are numbered for paid tax preparers who don't understand tax law - or intentionally flout it - yet file returns anyway, leaving the taxpayer to suffer the consequences. The IRS proposed last week that all paid preparers be registered and, with a few exceptions, undergo testing and continuing education. Maryland also has a law that allows state regulators to license preparers, but that effort has been stalled by a lack of funding. A state regulator hopes money is made available this year despite a huge budget shortfall.
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NEWS
By Jacques Kelly, The Baltimore Sun | May 6, 2014
I. William Lustbader, a retired Polytechnic Institute mathematics teacher, died of congestive heart failure April 15 at his Delray Beach, Fla., home. The former Northwest Baltimore resident was 98. Born in Baltimore, he was the son of Hosiah Lustbader, who owned a hardware and home furnishings store later razed for the state office complex. He was born at home above the store. His mother, Mollie Lustbader, was a homemaker. His parents were from Eastern Europe. He was a 1932 graduate of City College, where he ran track.
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BUSINESS
By Eileen Ambrose, The Baltimore Sun | July 15, 2012
The tax season ended in April for most of us, but for some consumers their tax headaches are only about to begin. That's because their tax preparer — without their knowledge — changed their return to boost the refund by thousands of dollars and pocketed the extra money. Taxpayers often find out about the fraud only months later when the IRS comes knocking to demand repayment. Preparer return fraud has been around for years, but taxpayer advocates say the crime is growing. The national taxpayer advocate sent a memo this year to her staff across the country describing how to spot the fraud and help victims set things right with the IRS. In May, legislation was introduced in Congress to raise the penalty to at least $5,000 per return against preparers perpetrating such schemes.
BUSINESS
By Arthur Hirsch, The Baltimore Sun | April 14, 2014
Tax day won't be an ordinary work day for Kasi Hernandez, who will get into the shop before dawn, hours before other employees arrive. He's not an accountant or a tax preparer, though, and he's not working a hot line for stressed taxpayers. He makes cookies. He's the general manager at Great American Cookie at The Mall in Columbia, and because April 15, the deadline for filing taxes, has turned into a promotional opportunity for some retailers, he has to get up at 4:30 a.m. and be at work by 5 to start making the cookies, between 600 and 750 of them.
NEWS
October 10, 1990
Services for Florence K. McCubbin, a bookkeeper and tax preparer who was a former head of the state organization of the Order of the Eastern Star, will be held at 11 a.m. today at the Ruck Towson Funeral Home, 1050 York Road.Mrs. McCubbin, who was 67 and lived on Foster Avenue in Parkville, died of cancer Sunday at Union Memorial Hospital.A bookkeeper for the Friendly Ice Cream Shop in Dundalk for about five years, she also had prepared tax returns with H & R Block for many years.The former Florence Keyes was a native of Baltimore and a graduate of what is now the Mergenthaler Vocational-Technical High School.
BUSINESS
By Julius Westheimer | March 5, 1999
WITH TAXES on most people's minds, here is a warning from Tax Hotline: "Don't let your accountant send you to jail. Some unsophisticated accountants use fictitious cost figures to reduce capital gains taxes -- or even create losses."It describes understating income, padding deductions and other ways to lower your taxes."Remember you sign the return. You're on the hook for tax fraud if you sign a return knowing you understated your tax liability. Fire an accountant who gives in to the temptation to cheat."
BUSINESS
By Liz Pulliam and Liz Pulliam,LOS ANGELES TIMES | December 19, 1999
You recently advised someone who works in the film industry about saving for retirement, suggesting that he set up a Simplified Employee Pension or SEP-IRA. I am a film worker, and I got into trouble with the IRS last year because I have been putting my retirement savings into a SEP-IRA.Although most people who work in the film industry think of themselves as self-employed because they aren't on the payroll of a studio or production company, they probably do not qualify for a SEP-IRA either.
ENTERTAINMENT
By MICHAEL STROH and MICHAEL STROH,SUN STAFF | January 18, 1999
Looking for a way to make tax season less taxing this year?If you're not among the 14.5 million people who prepare their returns on their home computers, this may be the time to retire your pencil and calculator.Recent changes to federal and Maryland tax laws are finally hitting the dining room table. The upshot: You may get more money back, but you'll have to work harder for it. There are more than 150 new or revamped federal income tax forms this year. Maryland taxpayers, meanwhile, face longer short forms and extended long forms this season.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun and Baltimore Sun reporter | October 4, 2010
Charles Warren West, a retired surveyor and bridge and road inspector for the Baltimore County Bureau of Highways who was also a tax preparer, died Wednesday of a heart attack at University of Maryland Medical Center. The Woodstock resident was 80. Mr. West was stricken while attending prayers at the St. Jude Shrine on North Paca Street and was taken to the nearby medical center, where he died. "He was devoted to the Wednesday novena at St. Jude," said a daughter, Patricia A. Smith of Ellicott City.
NEWS
July 31, 1991
After 5 1/2 days of deliberations, a federal court jury announced yesterday it had failed to reach a verdict on charges that former state Delegate Lester V. Jones failed to pay about $130,000 in federal income taxes in 1983 and 1984.Federal prosecutors Joseph L. Evans and Ira L. Oring said the government will retry the case.The six-man and six-woman jury notified federal Judge Marvin J. Garbis that they were unable to agree on a unanimous verdict about 2 p.m. yesterday. Mr. Jones was charged with two counts of tax evasion for 1983 and 1984 and two counts of false reporting on amended returns he filed to correct errors on his original returns.
FEATURES
By Kevin Rector, The Baltimore Sun | January 22, 2014
Two organizations in Baltimore have teamed up to offer free tax preparation help to low-income LGBT residents in Baltimore. "I think the low-income community needs tax prep in general, not just the LGBT community," said Aaron Merki, executive director of Free State Legal, which provides free legal advice to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender Marylanders. "But there are a lot of tax issues following marriage equality that might need special attention, so we felt this was a particularly important year to provide tax assistance to our client-base.
BUSINESS
By Lorraine Mirabella, The Baltimore Sun | April 15, 2013
At some Baltimore-area tax preparation offices, deadline day was proving anticlimactic. The big rush had come not on Tax Day but in early February, said Vince Williams, manager of Liberty Tax on East Coldspring Lane. The deadline for both federal and Maryland income taxes is Monday. "It's been a weird tax season," Williams said Monday morning. "Everyone started late because of the fiscal cliff. " Because of the last-minute tax deal to avert the fiscal cliff, the Internal Revenue Service was delayed in releasing some tax forms.
EXPLORE
March 5, 2013
Liberty Tax is offering free tax preparation services for first-time customers only who serve and assist local communities in the Laurel area. The following Appreciation Weeks are scheduled at the two Liberty Tax Service offices in Laurel. March 11 to 17: Hospital Appreciation Week, for nurses, doctors, therapists and all hospital staff. March 18 to 24: Healthy Living Appreciation Week, for all gym staff members, personal trainers, dietitians and recreational centers staff.
EXPLORE
February 11, 2013
The Harford Community Action Agency is again providing the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program to people and families with low- to moderate-incomes (annual income of up to $50,000). The program is a free income tax assistance service where help with preparing and filing (paper or electronically) state and federal returns are offered; the program is also able to assist with filing prior year as well as amended returns. The program helps filers take advantage of all the tax credits for which they are eligible, whether they owe taxes.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | February 5, 2013
 The Baltimore CASH Campaign has announced 15 sites where low- to moderate-income taxpayers can get free tax preparation this season from IRS-trained volunteers. Free tax preparation is available for families with income of under $50,000, or singles earning less than $25,000 for 2012. Consumers can set up an appointment online or by calling 410-234-8008. Here are the locations:   Neighborhood Housing Services 819 Park Ave., 21201 Appointments only Not wheelchair accessible Enoch Pratt Library 400 Cathedral Street Appointments only 1199 SEIU 611 N.Eutaw St., 21201 Appointments only Southern Community Action Center 606 Cherry Hill Rd. Appointments only Bon Secours Community Works 26 N.Fulton Ave. Walk-ins Welcome Drop off Service available Mayor's Office of Employment Development Mondawmin Mall, 3rd Floor 2401 Liberty Heights Ave. Appointments only on weekdays Saturday Appointments and limited walk-in space available Northwest Community Action Center 3939 Reisterstown Rd. Appointments only Center for Urban Families 2201 North Monroe Street Appointments only Northern Community Action Center 5225 York Rd. Appointments only PNC Bank 12E. 25thSt.
BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | January 23, 2013
A federal judge has ruled that the IRS doesn't have the authority to regulate tax preparers. This stunning ruling, though, is unlikely to have much impact in Maryland, which also regulates this group. “Maryland law was passed before the IRS regulations. We're still registering tax preparers and (they're) still in violation of Maryland law without being registered,” said Douglas Blackstone, executive director of the Maryland Board of Individual Tax Preparers. The state has about 3,700 registered preparers.
BUSINESS
By Ian Duncan, The Baltimore Sun | September 18, 2012
After Regina Friend's son Roswell committed suicide last year, she was at least relieved to know that the loans he took out to pay for his Temple University degree were forgiven. But now, the Cockeysville woman has learned she faces a hefty tax bill on those canceled loans. "I thought I was done," she said. Then in June she spoke to her tax preparer, who told her that she will owe an estimated $14,000 to the Internal Revenue Service and the state comptroller on the loans she took out for her son. "I don't think there will ever be closure for what happened.
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