Costlier Tax Preparers Encourage More Fraudulent Returns

NBC sent an undercover intern to different tax preparers. It looks like the big names in tax prep may charge higher fees, but that’s more than made up for by their ability to help you commit tax fraud.

At H&R Block, they advised the intern, posing as a waitress who earned $11,000, to not report her $4,000 in cash tips.

Here’s a select transcript:

Woman (to man): I mean, you know, that’s a legal loophole.
Man: There’s no paper trail on it.
Woman: Exactly.
Man (to intern): You’re not making a lot of money. It’s not like the IRS is going to track you down.

Jackson Hewitt was likewise compliant and helpful.

Intern: So what about my cash that I made? Does that not get taxed or something?
Man: That’s not taxed. It’s one of the perks for… you know.

It’s certainly not a perk, it’s illegal. Taking it, though, would’ve saved her $585. Jackson Hewitt was even willing to help the girl have an immaculate conception.

Intern: So if I had kids or something would I get more money back?
Man: We can make up a kid and put it in there, just to show you, if you want to do that.

We wonder, however, what would have happened if the investigative reporters hadn’t been asking leading questions.

Vid here at MSNBC (requires IE). [via Hit and Run]