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

A Monroe County tax preparer has left her clients in the dark a week after the deadline to file has passed.
Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:28 PM EDT
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LAMBERTVILLE, Mich. (WTVG) - A Monroe County tax preparer has left her clients in the dark a week after the deadline to file has passed.

Last week, several people reached out to 13abc and said they did not receive their taxes back from Bunch Accounting and Tax Services in Lambertville, Michigan. On the morning of tax day, April 18, 2022, dozens were waiting outside the offices on Summerfield Road for owner, Brandi Bunch, to finish the job.

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

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

“We dropped them off to her and told her we were going on vacation and I would talk to her afterwards,” explained Bradner. “We can’t get a hold of her. I call three, four times a day and I’ve stopped by her office. Nothing.”

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

When Bradner logged into her account and checked the IRS website, she said it shows that their taxes were never filed for 2021.

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

13abc stopped by Bunch Accounting and Tax Services on April 18 after dozens called with complaints that their taxes were not finished, and again on April 26, but no one was there. All attempts made to reach Bunch by phone also went unanswered.

According the Brandi Bunch’s LinkedIn account, she has been working as an accountant for more than nine years. Bunch Accounting and Tax Services website also states she is “timely and accurately providing income tax preparation to individuals and small businesses,” and is “offering appointments six days a week.”

Bradner says she has not heard from Bunch for several weeks after making several attempts to reach her by phone and email.

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

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

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

Dansack suggests those with similar issues should file a complaint with the IRS, and to continue to try and recover all tax documents.

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

Until Bradner hears back, she said she is unsure of 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 was told that Bunch was unavailable for comment.

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

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