Primary Outcomes (end points)
There are four primary outcomes of interest:
(1) Proportion of tax returns that may contain errors when claiming certain benefits:
Number of returns prepared that may contain one or more error when claiming certain benefits / Total number of returns prepared,
where, for the purpose of this study, certain benefits include: the earned income tax credit (EITC), child tax credit/additional child tax credit/credit for other dependents (CTC/ACTC/ODC), American opportunity tax credit (AOTC) and head of household (HOH) filing status.
(2) Capped proportion of returns that may contain errors when claiming certain benefits: The maximum value across the filing season will be capped at the lowest threshold at which education and outreach during the filing season may have occurred among return preparers in our study sample. This measure will be captured only after the return preparer has filed a predetermined number of returns overall, or a predetermined number of returns with errors. Results will be pooled across return preparer types.
For the purposes of this study, this value is then winsorized at the lowest proportion of errors for which a return preparer in our sample was exposed to a filing season treatment. Finally, this outcome will be transformed such that it reflects the proportion of errors as a percent of this cap; for instance, if the return preparer hit the cap this outcome would take on a value of 1, and if the return preparer’s proportion of errors was 50% of the cap, this outcome would take on a value of 0.5.
(3) Sum of erroneous dollars: this is a numeric variable that equals the numeric value for the sum of erroneous dollars that may have been claimed for certain benefits aggregated across the return preparer’s returns filed for their clients.
(4) Refund amount: A numeric refund amount aggregated across the return preparer’s returns filed for their clients.