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Woman wants answers after she went from a tax refund to owing the IRS

RICHMOND, Va. -- As tax day draws closer, anxiety rises for one Richmond woman.

She's frustrated about not being able to complete her current taxes and believes it stems from her filing back in 2016.

The woman, who asked CBS 6 not to reveal her identity, is convinced that her tax preparer made a mistake by not initially reporting all of her income.

She says after receiving a refund anticipation loan, the preparer amended her taxes. That caused her to owe the IRS.

The woman, who asked CBS 6 not to reveal her identity, is convinced that her tax preparer made a mistake by not initially reporting all of her income.

She's upset and wants a refund of the money she paid him.

"Next time I will make a better decision. I'm chalking this up to someone else's mistake" she said.

The tax preparer spoke off camera with CBS 6 and disagreed.

He said there was no mistake on his part. He said the client did not provide two key documents, retirement and unemployment information until after he sent off her taxes.

That prompted him to amend her return. He says he can't justify refunding her money.

Tax expert Chuck McCabe who is not affiliated with the woman's case, says anyone using a tax preparer should consider this.

"There are no regulations that license tax preparers. Anybody can say they are a tax preparer. Funny, you need a license to cut someone's hair but not to do their taxes," McCabe explained.

McCabe is the founder and CEO of Peoples Income Tax and The Income Tax School.

He always advises people to steer clear of certain red flags when seeking a tax preparer.

"If they base their fees on the amount of your refund, that's illegal. If they want to have the refund sent to them instead of to you that's a red flag. If they will not give you a copy of your tax return, that's a red flag," McCabe said.

He says the bottom line is a customer should know that once they sign their name on a tax return prepared by someone else, they are taking responsibility for whatever the preparer puts on the form.

McCabe says it's always a good idea when seeking a tax preparer to check them out through the Better Business Bureau and see if they have any complaints.

You should also check their BBB rating.

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