Last week, Georgia Watch released preliminary results from a mystery shopper study that examined the paid tax preparation market in Southwest Atlanta. “The study results cause us great concern around the lack of regulation of paid tax preparers and the absence of protections for consumers,” observed Elise Blasingame, Georgia Watch’s Director of Community Education and Financial Protection, primary investigator for the study.
Today, anyone in Georgia, regardless of education or training level, is allowed to charge consumers for the preparation of income taxes. The study assessed the transparency and variance of fees, error rates on returns and the prevalence of outright fraudulent activity affecting consumers in the region.
See coverage of the study’s results below.