Customers want answers when tax preparer closes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- If you're bustling to beat the April 15 tax deadline the IRS says to choose who you hire to do your taxes carefully.

Milestone Tax Service has closed its Roosevelt Boulevard office unexpectedly. The sign on the door reads 'the office is closed for the remaining tax season.' Customers are asking why?

Jackie Burton, 39, is one of the customers that was waiting on a refund check and when she went to the office it was closed.

"I was stunned," she said. "I could not believe it."

The business has posted a customer service toll free number, but the calls are routed to an automated system that dropped several calls.

"I was not the only one knocking on the door," Burton said. "But I am coming forth."

Burton is expecting a refund of $4,100 and said the tax preparer promised to call her when the check was available. Instead, on March 19 she received a check in the mail and couldn't cash it.

"The check they did send was an invalid check," said Burton.

Burton said when her bank contacted the issuer, because the check reads contact bank first, and was told the check would have to be replaced. That was weeks ago and now she's afraid she is not going to see her refund.

"I'm not seeing it and I really feel like I am not going to get it," she said.

She contacted the IRS and was told that her refund has been issued but now the issue is between her and the company that prepared her tax return.

"I need the money," she said. "I have two kids and I had plan for that money."

The On Your Side team contacted Milestone Tax Services in Central Florida and spoke with a John Scott.

"There has been a miss communication with the bank," said Scott. "She will get her check."

Scott would not elaborate on what caused the miss communication or if Burton is the only customer with this problem. He emphatically said this case is over.

"This has been resolved," said Scott.

Michael Dobzinski, spokesman for Florida's IRS office said he could not discuss a specific case but this is why the IRS has advised taxpayers to choose their preparer carefully.

1) Always check the preparer's history

2) Ask about service fees

3) Report abusive preparers to the IRS

Follow theses 10 IRS tips for choosing a tax preparer.


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