Ten Tips for Taxpayers When Selecting a Preparer

  1. Check the Preparer’s Qualifications. Use the IRS Directory for Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications.
  2. Check the Preparer’s History. For Enrolled Agents, go to and verify enrolled agent status page on IRS.gov or check the directory.
  3. Ask about Service Fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of the refund or who boast bigger refunds than their competition.
  4. Ask to E-File.
  5. Make Sure the Preparer is Available. Avoid fly by night preparers.
  6. Provide Records and Receipts. Good preparers will ask to see a taxpayer’s records and receipts.
  7. Never Sign a Blank Return.
  8. Review Before Signing. Before signing a tax return, review it, ask questions.
  9. Ensure the Preparer Signs and Include their PTIN. All paid tax preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number.
  • Report Abusive Tax Preparers to the IRS.