Taxpayer Cannot Rely on Tax Preparer For Filing of Accurate Return.

The IRS claimed that the petitioner had a tax deficiency of $2,500.  The return was prepared by a return preparation service known as "Tax Whiz," and claimed a $2,500 American Opportunity Tax Credit (AOTC) which resulted in the return showing a $1,853 refund due to petitioner.  However, the petitioner admitted that he did not have any qualified educational expenses for the year in issue and was not entitled to the credit.  The petitioner also admitted that he did not examine the return before Tax Whiz filed it.  The petitioner did not receive the refund because IRS intercepted it and had it applied to the petitioner's outstanding child support debt.  The court held that the petitioner was not entitled to the AOTC, and was liable for the resulting deficiency.  Reliance on a tax return preparer does not absolve a taxpayer from the responsibility to file an accurate return, the court noted.  The court lacked jurisdiction to review the reduction of the petitioner's overpayment to pay his child support debt.  Devy v. Comr., T.C. Memo. 2015-110.

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