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State agency: Watch for tax cheats
Photos and Story by Dana Haynes
As tax season approaches, the Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners warns that unlicensed tax preparers have targeted college students in recent years.
“If you entrust a preparer with your personal information, ensure that he or she is licensed to prepare taxes in Oregon, as required by state law,” warned Ron Wagner, executive director of the state board. “If the income-tax preparer you selected is not licensed, find someone who is. There are about 4,000 licensees in Oregon, all of whom have studied tax law, passed a rigorous state exam and kept current on tax-law changes.”
Licensed tax preparers and consultants are required to display their license in their place of business.
The Oregon Board of Tax Practitioners investigates unlicensed income-tax preparers and consultants.
“Last tax season, these folks apparently expended some effort to target college students,” Wagner said. The biggest issues included making illegal deductions to keep clients happy – until the IRS finds out – and identity theft, he said.
To make sure a paid tax preparer is licensed, Oregonians are encouraged to: