Home > Strictly TAXES! > Choose Your Tax Preparer Wisely!

Choose Your Tax Preparer Wisely!

January 2009

Many people use a professional tax return preparer to help them with their tax returns. If you plan to use a return preparer this year, be careful when you choose one –– as careful as you would be choosing a doctor or lawyer.

Even when someone else prepares your tax return, you, the taxpayer, are ultimately responsible for all the information on the return. For that reason, you should thoroughly review the completed return before signing it and ask questions on entries you don’t understand. Never sign a blank tax form.

  • Most tax return preparers provide honest service to their clients. But it’s always a good idea to be careful. When seeking someone to prepare your tax returns:
    Be cautious of tax preparers who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.
  • Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund.
    Use a tax professional who signs the completed tax return and provides you a copy.
  • Consider whether the individual or firm will be around to answer questions months, or even years, after the return has been filed.
  • Check credentials. Only attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs) and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS in all matters, including audits, collection and appeals. Other return preparers may only represent taxpayers for audits of returns they actually prepared.
  • Find out if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that provides its members with continuing education and holds them to a code of ethics.
  • Ask friends and family whether they know anyone who has used the tax professional and whether they were satisfied with the service they received.
    Reputable preparers will ask to see receipts and other documentation and will ask numerous questions to determine whether expenses, deductions and other items qualify. By doing so they are trying to help you avoid penalties, interest or additional taxes that could result from an IRS audit.

Feel free to visit our website at: www.efileflorida.com for more great tax tips and articles.

Categories: Strictly TAXES!
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