Selecting a Good Tax Preparer
Maybe you have completed your tax return at home with one of the available tax preparation packages like TurboTax but you want a tax professional to personally review your return. The wants to make sure you have the information you need to select the best tax preparer and has provided these tips to avoid issues with the quality of your filed return.
Availability. Make sure the preparer will be available for questions even after the return is filed. You want someone to assist you in the case of an IRS audit.
Background Check. Like hiring anyone, background checks are useful. Check the Better Business Bureau, the state’s board of accountancy, or the state’s bar association depending on the perspective preparer’s license.
Check Qualifications. Many preparers are CPAs or Enrolled Agents and need to meet certain criteria to maintain the designation. Check for these and similar affiliations that require continuing education and ethical practices.
Fee Based Services. If the preparation fees are based on the amount of your return, the return could be prepared incorrectly to increase the fee. Avoid preparers that charge for income tax returns in this manner.
Records Request. If your preparer fails to request all the forms needed to complete your return or doesn’t ask the necessary questions to determine your tax situation, you should consider a different tax professional.
Signatures. Always wait until your return is ready to be mailed to sign it. Review all parts of the return before taking this final step. And make sure your preparer also signs the return in the appropriate location.