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Tax preparer charged with trying to have two clients killed

And you thought your tax pro was bad!

OK, this California accountant wasn't just ticked off at a couple of people he thought were tax clients from hell.

The former Internal Revenue Service agent is accused of ordering a hit on at least two former customers as they prepared to testify against him on fraud charges, according to the Associated Press.

The two alleged assassination targets reportedly were key witnesses against Steven Martinez, who was charged last year with stealing $11 million by reporting bogus tax returns for customers below their actual incomes and pocketing money from the discrepancies.

Martinez was an IRS agent from 1988 to 1992. After getting his accounting license in 1994, he set up a boutique firm in San Diego that catered to a wealthy clientele.

Finding a good, and safe, tax pro: Asking about someone's homicidal tendencies isn't on the standard "questions to ask your prospective tax professional" list.

One of the first items that is on those tax pro hiring lists is asking about credential. Martinez's former affiliation with the IRS would seem to make him a desired private sector tax pro.

But there are exceptions to every rule.

And there are other things you need to consider when hiring a tax pro. I covered this issue in Check out your tax preparer. More tax pro picking advice comes from:

I hope these help you find the perfect, and non-criminally inclined, tax pro for your return filing and tax planning needs.

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