Posted by Zoe Geoffrion , on Oct, 2017
When you’re in the market for a tax preparer, you know that you need to hire the best. Not only will this party be responsible for your financial security, you also will be trusting them with all of your personal information. If a tax preparer is incompetent, or corrupt, then there could be dire consequences on you. Therefore, when selecting a tax professional, you need to make sure that you’re picking someone who is honest, hard-working, and can get the job done. Here are some guidelines to help you choose the best tax preparer possible.
Make Sure the Preparer Has a PTIN
PTIN is short for Preparer Tax Identification Number. Every tax preparer in the country has to have one of these identification numbers, so if someone is offering you services and doesn’t have such a number, it is likely a scam. The preparer also should belong to a professional organization and be willing to tell you what it is.
Examine the Preparer’s History
Since you look at reviews before choosing a restaurant to go to, it would be absurd to choose someone for a service as important as tax filing without properly vetting them. You can use the Better Business Bureau in order to find out if your potential preparer has a dodgy history, or if they have made significant mistakes on tax returns before. You can also check with the state board, for personal accountants, or the state bar, for tax attorneys.
Tax preparers should not be charging you a percentage of your return. It should be an above board fee that you know about beforehand; anyone who wants to take a cut out of how much they “saved” you is likely trying to scam you.
Do Not Sign Returns That Are Blank
Just like you should never hand out a signed blank check, you should never trust someone who wants you to sign a blank return. You should examine the return closely before signing it, partially to keep your preparer honest, partially just to check to see if there’s anything that they missed.
Make Sure They E-File
With the IRS, it is now free to e-file, so make sure that whomever you are selecting is doing so. In fact, if a preparer submits ten or more returns, they are required to do so, which means reluctance to e-file is not a promising sign.
Don’t let the potential pitfalls of hiring a tax preparer turn you off to it. For medium and high-earning taxpayers, and especially for businesses, having a competent tax preparer is absolutely vital. For tax preparation services in Yonkers, NY, consider Accutax for your filing needs.
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