Clients left in the dark after not hearing from tax preparer, missing tax deadline

LAMBERTVILLE, Mich. (WTVG) — A Monroe County tax preparer has left clients in the dark a week after the filing deadline expired.

Last week, several people contacted 13abc and said they had not received their taxes from Bunch Accounting and Tax Services in Lambertville, Michigan. On the morning of Tax Day, April 18, 2022, dozens of people waited outside the Summerfield Road offices for landlord Brandi Bunch to finish the job.

“We’re left dry,” said Stephanie Bradner, a client at Bunch Accounting and Tax. “The doors are closed and everything is locked.”

Bradner said she took her and her husband’s taxes to Bunch in March and never heard back.

“We dropped them off and told him we were going on vacation and I would talk to him afterwards,” Bradner explained. “We can’t reach her. I call three, four times a day and I go to his office. Nothing.”

Bradner and her husband have been bringing their taxes to Bunch for three years and say they’ve never had a problem like this before.

When Bradner logged into her account and looked at the IRS website, she said it showed their taxes had never been filed for 2021.

“It’s probably everyone’s worst nightmare,” Bradner said. “You take your taxes to someone hoping they prepare them correctly and send them in, but on tax day we heard nothing.”

13abc was shut down by Bunch Accounting and Tax Services on April 18 after dozens of callers complaining that their taxes weren’t completed, and again on April 26, but no one was there. All attempts to reach Bunch by phone also went unanswered.

According to Brandi Bunch’s LinkedIn account, she has worked as an accountant for over nine years. The Bunch Accounting and Tax Services website also states that it “provides timely and accurate income tax preparation to individuals and small businesses” and “offers appointments six days a week.” .

Bradner says she hasn’t heard from Bunch in several weeks after repeatedly trying to reach her by phone and email.

“It’s shocking that she doesn’t even call back at this point,” she said. “That a secretary doesn’t even call back just makes me wonder what’s really going on and that’s scary.”

Several other clients tell 13abc that they have contacted the police to get involved in returning their tax documents.

“Most preparers and tax professionals have an ethical duty to return these documents,” said attorney Michael Dansack Jr., a partner at Gallon, Takacs & Boissoneault in Maumee.

Dansack suggests those with similar issues file a complaint with the IRS and continue trying to retrieve all tax documents.

“Filing an extension and going to a tax preparer or CPA, someone who could help you, would also be advisable,” Dansack added.

Until Bradner answered, she said she didn’t know what to do.

“At this point, just give me my documents back so I can move on,” she said. “All I want is my stuff back.”

13abc previously spoke with a secretary on Tax Day and learned that Bunch was unavailable for comment.

For more information on filing after the deadline, you can visit the IRS website.

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