The tax filing season is upon us, and many people will be looking for someone to help them file a tax return. These taxpayers should choose their tax return preparer wisely.
This is because it’s ultimately the taxpayer who is responsible for all the information on their tax return. It’s important for people to remember that this is true no matter who prepares the return.
- Check the preparer’s qualifications – IRS Directory of Federal Tax Preparers with Credentials
- Check the preparer’s history- Enrolled Agents (agent status) IRS.gov; CPA (state board)
- Ask about service fees- Avoid preparers that base fees on a percentage of the refunds
- Ask to e-file- Quickest way to receive your refund
- Provide records and receipts- Good preparers will ask to see records/receipts and ask questions
- Never sign a blank form- Period
- Review before signing- Ask questions if something is not clear
- Review details about any refund- Make sure refund goes in your account not the tax preparer
- Ensure the preparer signs and includes their PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number)- Required by law