Consumer affairs: Beware phony tax preparers

BROOKLYN - The New York City Department of Consumer Affairs says city residents should be cautious about choosing a tax preparation center when filing their taxes.

The department conducted a monthlong raid of nearly 800 tax preparers citywide and issued more than 2,000 violations. Officials say most violations were for predatory, high interest loans that consumers had to pay back and false advertising.

In the Bronx alone, the department found 72 tax centers in violation of the law.

To weed out phony preparers, officials say residents should ask the center if it's willing to represent them if audited by the IRS. Residents should also look for rates posted upfront.

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