In every profession, there are people who are ultimately not as trustworthy as they initially appear. For every person who takes his or her profession seriously, there are the individuals who are only interested in taking advantage of the clients who come to them in confidence. While every professional service we utilize comes with unique risks, there is nothing quite as damaging as consulting a less than scrupulous tax preparer. Asking yourself whether you should really trust your tax preparer before becoming overly reliant on him or her is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family.

 Incentivized Referrals

How did you discover your tax preparer and was there any incentive involved in the recommendation? There are some tax preparers who offer referral fees to those who tell friends, family members, or clients about their services. A person who is receiving cash, free products, or other services in return for sending you to a tax preparer may be less than honest to get you there. Be sure that you do your own research instead of making your decision to use a tax preparer based solely on a paid recommendation.

 Unscrupulous Methods

Always be cautious around tax preparers who do not request documentation that other preparers have requested. If they hint at knowing workarounds, offer to create false documents, or suggest any unscrupulous methods, consider finding another professional. A person who suggests something unprofessional to you has more than likely already used those methods with other clients. The last thing you want is to be involved with anyone who acquires a reputation for using methods that are unethical or illegal.

 Availability and Honesty

A trustworthy tax preparer is not going to hesitate when telling his or her clients things that they need to hear. Often that means sharing bad news along with good news, so be wary of a tax preparer who only tells you positive information while glossing over serious issues. Honesty is not always pleasant, and ultimately availability is just as important as honesty. A tax preparer should be available during normal business hours to accept calls or return messages. A person who seemingly disappears after your initial meeting is not likely to be there during a financial emergency, which is usually when you will need your tax preparer the most.

 Get Legal Advice

When you are choosing a tax preparer, always err on the side of caution and do not hesitate to ask questions or point out irregularities. The tax preparer you consult should be professional, cautious, and most of all trustworthy. Do not place your financial future at risk to please a friend or tax advantage of an attractive promotion. If you find yourself having questions about a tax preparer’s advice, especially regarding a trust or estate issue, consider talking to a trust and estate attorney. MMZ Law understand how stressful tax issues are and can assist you with questions or concerns that you might have. Contact us today (909) 256-6702 to schedule a FREE consultation at our conveniently located Claremont office. We are experienced in handling Probate Matters, Estate Planning and Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning in Asset Protection.



341 W. 1st St. Suite 100
Claremont, CA 91711

MARIVEL M. ZIALCITA is the founder of MMZ LAW, A Professional Corporation, where she practices in the areas of Elder Law – Medi-Cal Planning Asset Protection, Trust & Estate, Special Needs, Conservatorship, Trust Administration, & Probate. Ms. Zialcita is a frequent speaker on trust and estate matters and holds memberships in the State Bar of California, Trust and Estate Section, The San Bernardino County Bar Association, Wealth Counsel and Elder Counsel. She currently assists in the pro bono legal services program at the James L. Brulte Senior Center in Rancho Cucamonga, California. She is based in Claremont but assists clients throughout Southern California.

This information is educational information only and not legal advice.