Tax Season Prep: Choosing a Tax Preparer

Posted on Nov 9, 2015 in Tax Season, Taxes | Comments Off on Tax Season Prep: Choosing a Tax Preparer

Tax Season Prep: Choosing a Tax Preparer

While tax season may be one of the last things on your mind this time of year, there is no better time than now to find a good tax preparer. A good tax preparer can advise you on how to best finish out this tax year now and ease your tax filing stress come tax time. Once the end of the year comes and tax season begins, tax professional get busy and it will be harder to “shop around,” get advice, etc.

tax-preparerIn a recent IRS Newswire release, the IRS gives some tips that can help taxpayers as they select a tax preparer:

Look for someone ethical:

You will give the preparer a lot of personal information so you want someone who values your privacy and will also help you complete your return honestly.

Ask about fees:

Avoid preparers who base their fee on the amount of the refund. Also, make sure any refunds are sent to you, not to the preparer.

Make sure the Tax Preparer has a tax identification number (PTIN):

Paid preparers are required to have one.

Contact the Better Business Bureau (BBB):

Find out if the preparer has any past issues or complaints filed against them.

Ask to e-file:

Any tax preparer who prepares and files more than 10 returns for clients generally has to file electronically.

Make sure they ask for tax records:

Anyone who says they will e-file for you without seeing your W-2 is in violation of the IRS e-file rules. A good preparer will ask for records.

Sign It Right:

You should never sign a blank or incomplete return. In the end, you are the one responsible for the accuracy of the information provided to the IRS. Be sure you look over the complete return. Make sure the preparer also signs the return, includes their PTIN, and gives you a copy of the return. The preparer is required by law to do all three things.

Read the full IRS Newswire release here.