Be Careful when using AARP Free Tax Service in The Villages

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  #1  
Old 03-12-2015, 06:40 PM
shully13 shully13 is offline
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Default Be Careful when using AARP Free Tax Service in The Villages

The Free $3000 AARP Tax Preparation Story

Let me tell you a story about what is supposed to be free isnt always free. One day, my wife and I went to the AARP free tax preparation service in The Villages to complete our taxes, and were greeted by very polite and helpful staff. They sat us down and we preceded to layout our tax information. We had the normal federal tax withholdings and a few deductions. The preparer entered the information which I might add took 3 hours. The preparer was very nice and said the site was having computer problems. I started to hyperventilate after 1 hour on how slowly things were progressing along.
We were again seated in another area to wait for a second person to go over our 1040 form. The person who is assigned the task to look over the newly done return to ensure it is correct. We were told at this time that we owed $3000. BUT, there were deductions missing from our return that we were entitled too. We were informed to go home and locate the documents and then come back to finish the return. Nothing was signed by neither party, nor was our return papers completed. It was supposed to be kept On Hold.
Thinking about how our return was handled and the sense that something was wrong; we decided to mail all our documents to our old tax preparer that we have used for over thirty years. She received the documents and prepared our 1040 tax form with all the deductions to the amount of now owing the IRS only $1300. There were errors found in the AARP return. Our return was filed electronically, only to bounce back stating OUR RETURN HAS ALREADY BEEN FILED. The IRS sent a message to our tax preparer that we were dealing with the possibility of identity theft, and to please call the IRS immediately.
Now in a panic over the possibility of identity theft, we called the IRS. After an hour and half on the phone, we discovered that AARP PROCESSED our tax return and sent it through. How did they do this without our approval, our signatures or finishing the return? Immediately we went to the AARP tax preparer here in The Villages with this information. They looked it over and stated Were sorry, it shouldnt have been filed. REALLY?! There wasnt anything to be done with this blunder. So we called our tax preparer and she completed a 1040X after hearing what happened. But the story doesnt end here. As we were preparing to sign and date our 1040X forms and mail our check of $1300 to the IRS to fix this MESS, when a $3000 debit was withdrawn out of our checking account by the IRS without our permission. How did this happen. Well let me tell you. Not only wasnt the debit done on April 15th as is the norm, it was deducted March 2nd. It only gets worse. Were now back on the phone to the IRS for over an hour to determine what happen, and getting more aggravated by the minute. Good thing we had enough money to cover the debit without an overdraft. Oh, by the way, the head representative of the AARP service told us that they wont pay for any mistakes; Its Free.
Once more we have to humbly call my tax preparer to do another 1040X. This time I get a refund. Wow a refund of my own money and we have to wait to receive it. Who knows how long? So the moral of the story is, you pay for what you get! NOTHING IS EVER FREE!
  #2  
Old 03-12-2015, 07:37 PM
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lanabanana73 lanabanana73 is offline
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That sounds absolutely awful! Hugs to you.
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  #3  
Old 03-12-2015, 08:33 PM
Bogie Shooter Bogie Shooter is offline
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Part time tax preparers............
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  #4  
Old 03-12-2015, 08:35 PM
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I would have serious discussion with AARP, possibly hinting at litigation. At a minimum there should be a detailed explanation of how this happened. It sounds like the tax preparer was on the IRS electronic system, and did not actually place the return on HOLD.
Also, I do not give out make bank account info, unless I am getting refund, the taxes get paid by me with my check, this is not an item to be discussed.

Thank you very much for the heads up on this.
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  #5  
Old 03-12-2015, 08:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shully13 View Post
The Free $3000 AARP Tax Preparation Story



Let me tell you a story about what is supposed to be free isnt always free. One day, my wife and I went to the AARP free tax preparation service in The Villages to complete our taxes, and were greeted by very polite and helpful staff. They sat us down and we preceded to layout our tax information. We had the normal federal tax withholdings and a few deductions. The preparer entered the information which I might add took 3 hours. The preparer was very nice and said the site was having computer problems. I started to hyperventilate after 1 hour on how slowly things were progressing along.

We were again seated in another area to wait for a second person to go over our 1040 form. The person who is assigned the task to look over the newly done return to ensure it is correct. We were told at this time that we owed $3000. BUT, there were deductions missing from our return that we were entitled too. We were informed to go home and locate the documents and then come back to finish the return. Nothing was signed by neither party, nor was our return papers completed. It was supposed to be kept On Hold.

Thinking about how our return was handled and the sense that something was wrong; we decided to mail all our documents to our old tax preparer that we have used for over thirty years. She received the documents and prepared our 1040 tax form with all the deductions to the amount of now owing the IRS only $1300. There were errors found in the AARP return. Our return was filed electronically, only to bounce back stating OUR RETURN HAS ALREADY BEEN FILED. The IRS sent a message to our tax preparer that we were dealing with the possibility of identity theft, and to please call the IRS immediately.

Now in a panic over the possibility of identity theft, we called the IRS. After an hour and half on the phone, we discovered that AARP PROCESSED our tax return and sent it through. How did they do this without our approval, our signatures or finishing the return? Immediately we went to the AARP tax preparer here in The Villages with this information. They looked it over and stated Were sorry, it shouldnt have been filed. REALLY?! There wasnt anything to be done with this blunder. So we called our tax preparer and she completed a 1040X after hearing what happened. But the story doesnt end here. As we were preparing to sign and date our 1040X forms and mail our check of $1300 to the IRS to fix this MESS, when a $3000 debit was withdrawn out of our checking account by the IRS without our permission. How did this happen. Well let me tell you. Not only wasnt the debit done on April 15th as is the norm, it was deducted March 2nd. It only gets worse. Were now back on the phone to the IRS for over an hour to determine what happen, and getting more aggravated by the minute. Good thing we had enough money to cover the debit without an overdraft. Oh, by the way, the head representative of the AARP service told us that they wont pay for any mistakes; Its Free.

Once more we have to humbly call my tax preparer to do another 1040X. This time I get a refund. Wow a refund of my own money and we have to wait to receive it. Who knows how long? So the moral of the story is, you pay for what you get! NOTHING IS EVER FREE!


Ok, time to stop freaking out. Simply file an amended 1040X form. Now you will get what you're entitled to.
  #6  
Old 03-12-2015, 09:09 PM
rdhdleo rdhdleo is offline
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I have my own story that scared the you know what out of us. We went to them many years ago months later we got a letter from the IRS stating we owed them $30,000!!! And as of a certain date penalties would start accruing! Yes you read that right! I nearly had a heart attack. We had looked everything over beforehand but did not realize they did not file one form for an IRA account my husband had moved to something else hence it was calculated by the IRS as income! We fund a GREAT accountant (upon recommendation from a friend) and she within a couple of days cleared it up and filed the proper papers at that time it cost $175 and was worth every penny. She called the IRS directly and spoke with them with us in the office. She said she couldn't even tell me how many horror stories she had of people that had issues because of the FREE AARP service. We've been with her ever since!

Last edited by rdhdleo; 03-12-2015 at 09:24 PM. Reason: typo
  #7  
Old 03-12-2015, 09:16 PM
sunnyatlast sunnyatlast is offline
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With AARP's revenues as a "non-profit" organization, one would think they could afford to pay for CPA's and other licensed tax preparers to assist their members:
"According to AARP's 2008 Consolidated financials, it was paid $652,000,000 in royalties from insurance companies that sold products referred by AARP.

AARP also received an additional $120,000,000 for the advertisements placed in its publications.."
AARP - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


..
  #8  
Old 03-12-2015, 09:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shully13 View Post
The Free $3000 AARP Tax Preparation Story

Let me tell you a story about what is supposed to be free isnt always free. One day, my wife and I went to the AARP free tax preparation service in The Villages to complete our taxes, and were greeted by very polite and helpful staff. They sat us down and we preceded to layout our tax information. We had the normal federal tax withholdings and a few deductions. The preparer entered the information which I might add took 3 hours. The preparer was very nice and said the site was having computer problems. I started to hyperventilate after 1 hour on how slowly things were progressing along.
We were again seated in another area to wait for a second person to go over our 1040 form. The person who is assigned the task to look over the newly done return to ensure it is correct. We were told at this time that we owed $3000. BUT, there were deductions missing from our return that we were entitled too. We were informed to go home and locate the documents and then come back to finish the return. Nothing was signed by neither party, nor was our return papers completed. It was supposed to be kept On Hold.
Thinking about how our return was handled and the sense that something was wrong; we decided to mail all our documents to our old tax preparer that we have used for over thirty years. She received the documents and prepared our 1040 tax form with all the deductions to the amount of now owing the IRS only $1300. There were errors found in the AARP return. Our return was filed electronically, only to bounce back stating OUR RETURN HAS ALREADY BEEN FILED. The IRS sent a message to our tax preparer that we were dealing with the possibility of identity theft, and to please call the IRS immediately.
Now in a panic over the possibility of identity theft, we called the IRS. After an hour and half on the phone, we discovered that AARP PROCESSED our tax return and sent it through. How did they do this without our approval, our signatures or finishing the return? Immediately we went to the AARP tax preparer here in The Villages with this information. They looked it over and stated Were sorry, it shouldnt have been filed. REALLY?! There wasnt anything to be done with this blunder. So we called our tax preparer and she completed a 1040X after hearing what happened. But the story doesnt end here. As we were preparing to sign and date our 1040X forms and mail our check of $1300 to the IRS to fix this MESS, when a $3000 debit was withdrawn out of our checking account by the IRS without our permission. How did this happen. Well let me tell you. Not only wasnt the debit done on April 15th as is the norm, it was deducted March 2nd. It only gets worse. Were now back on the phone to the IRS for over an hour to determine what happen, and getting more aggravated by the minute. Good thing we had enough money to cover the debit without an overdraft. Oh, by the way, the head representative of the AARP service told us that they wont pay for any mistakes; Its Free.
Once more we have to humbly call my tax preparer to do another 1040X. This time I get a refund. Wow a refund of my own money and we have to wait to receive it. Who knows how long? So the moral of the story is, you pay for what you get! NOTHING IS EVER FREE!
What a horror story. Thanks for warning everyone about what can go wrong. That is unbelievably scary.
  #9  
Old 03-12-2015, 10:00 PM
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Free is not always Free nor a good idea. I am sure you will get things corrected but probably not for free. Good luck I hope you get things worked out.
  #10  
Old 03-12-2015, 10:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by villagetinker View Post
I would have serious discussion with AARP, possibly hinting at litigation. At a minimum there should be a detailed explanation of how this happened. It sounds like the tax preparer was on the IRS electronic system, and did not actually place the return on HOLD.
Also, I do not give out make bank account info, unless I am getting refund, the taxes get paid by me with my check, this is not an item to be discussed.

Thank you very much for the heads up on this.
Brilliant. Never give account numbers unless you are due a refund, if you owe the IRS - send a check.
  #11  
Old 03-12-2015, 10:20 PM
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There is no free lunch! You get what you pay for at best.
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  #12  
Old 03-12-2015, 10:21 PM
golf2140 golf2140 is offline
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I have used them for the past 5+ years, No problems
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  #13  
Old 03-13-2015, 05:10 AM
Debfrommaine Debfrommaine is offline
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I have used them for the past 5+ years, No problems
Sorry to hear about your issues and hope they get resolved quickly.

We've used them for a few years now, no problems, thankfully.
  #14  
Old 03-13-2015, 05:20 AM
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Is this the same thing as the folks I would see at Colony Cottage Rec Center helping people with their tax returns? I always thought how nice of retired accountants to volunteer their time.

Or is this another situation?
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  #15  
Old 03-13-2015, 06:08 AM
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Default AARP Tax preparers

We have used them for years and never had a problem.
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