Burlington, NC -- Reading through her tax return, Tara Cole says something didn't add up, about $35,000 in deductions.
"It was a compete, utter shock to see that she had filed all of these deductions that we didn't authorize," Cole said.
The "She" is Marie Maldonado. Maldonado owns Penguin Taxes in Burlington. The Coles say Maldonado e-signed their taxes and the family never saw their final paperwork until they got their audit notice.
"And we're coming into five months from Christmas. And I'm not going to tell my daughter you know I gotta pay all this money back to the IRS. What she did was just wrong," Cole said.
The Coles could have to give back their tax refund plus interest and fees.
Four other people have filed complaints about Maldonado with police. 2 Wants To Know tracked down Marie Maldonado on the phone. She wouldn't meet us fact to face. But she says clients like the Coles provided all the deduction information.
When it comes to information, 2 Wants To Know discovered Maldonado has at least nine misdemeanor convictions: seven for bad checks, the last one in 2009.
2 Wants To Know also discovered this parole form where Maldonado wrote she only has a 10th grade education. Maldonado admitted to 2WTK she has no formal tax training, but said she has 17 years experience working with taxes.
"You should not be allowed to file taxes or any other government paperwork ever again. It's a disgrace," Cole said.
The best way to protect yourself is to remember that at the end of the day, you're the one responsible for your return. So never ever let someone else submit it before you review the information personally.