MANTECA (CBS13) – You pay a professional so it’s done right, so who pays if they make a mistake?
“Somebody’s going to owe money. Either me or them and hopefully them.” said Ryan Wood.READ MORE: Getting Answers: What Do Increased Releases From Folsom Dam Mean For Region's Water Levels?
Months after Wood used Jackson Hewitt to prepare his taxes, he says the state informed him he still owed $706. He says his tax preparer entered a wrong number.
Wood says Jackson Hewitt offered a “Lifetime Accuracy Guarantee.” A commercial says “be 100% certain with Jackson Hewitt.”
Jackson Hewitt tells us the Lifetime Accuracy Guarantee only “covers penalties and interest.”
In this case, the state didn’t tack on any penalties or interest. Ryan just got billed for the $706 in taxes.
“I feel the preparer that did the taxes itself would be responsible for that,” Ryan said.
But that’s not true, said tax attorney Betty Williams.READ MORE: 'This Isn't Going To Hold Us Back': Drag Event In Woodland Stopped Over Alleged Threats Of Violence
“That’s an error. The taxpayer still owes the tax,” she said.
Williams says you often can get the state or feds to waive added penalties when a tax preparer makes a mistake. If not, she suggests asking the tax preparer to cover those costs.
We reached out to Jackson Hewitt who said:
“At Jackson Hewitt, we’re committed to providing our clients the best customer service and guarantees. While we can’t discuss the details of an individual’s tax return, we greatly apologize for the inconvenience Ryan Wood is experiencing and are working closely with him to ensure a resolution is met. We stand behind our Lifetime Accuracy Guarantee, which covers penalties and interest caused by an error made by our team.”
The company reached a deal with Ryan. But he says it caused unnecessary stress.
“It baffles me that it happened,” Ryan said.
We should note, some companies do have add-ons that serve as a kind of insurance policy to pay for any extra charges, even if you underpaid taxes. It’s important to check if a guarantee covers everything owed for the mistake, or just penalties and interest.MORE NEWS: California Lawmakers Demand Accountability After Personal Info Of Concealed Weapons Holders Leaked
You can report a tax preparer to the state’s CPA board, the Franchise Tax Board, and the I.R.S.