12 On Your Side: Columbia Co. employee owes money to IRS after W2 typo

By: Staff Email
By: Staff Email
H&R Block

H&R Block discovered there was a misprint on one of Josh Powell's four W2 forms. (WRDW-TV / Sept. 29, 2011)

COLUMBIA COUNTY -- A Columbia County employee is stuck paying the IRS more than $1,200 after finding out his employer's printer malfunctioned.

Josh Powell said he received the letter from the IRS earlier this month stating he owed the money from 2009. He went to H&R Block to ask them about his taxes since they prepared them for him in 2009. H&R Block discovered there was a misprint on one of his four W2 forms. It appears the printer shifted and printed the wrong figure in the wrong box.

H&R Block sent News 12 this statement: "The tax return was prepared accurately from the information provided by the client. H&R Block worked with the client to resolve the matter. As a courtesy, we paid the penalties and interest. The client owes no more than the original tax obligation."

News 12 asked Columbia County Finance Director Leanne Reece what was being done about the error.

"I talked to the employee that one day and nothing else has been said about it," Reece said.

She admitted the error did come from a county printer.

Andrea Usry, CPA with SME, said she would hope most tax preparers would catch the error.

News 12 asked who was at fault in this situation.

"Unfortunately, it falls on multiple parties," Usry said.

Powell is still stuck fronting the bill to the IRS. He says it's a lesson learned to always look over your W2s before taking them to your tax preparer.

A few things to keep in mind when choosing someone to do your taxes:

  • Remember there a CPA is someone who has a degree in accounting. Most people who work at tax franchises have only attended training or have taken an eleven week course.
  • Always look over your W2's and make sure everything looks right.
  • Also, always look over your tax return. If it looks suspicious contact your tax preparer.

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