When preparing and filing a tax return, taxpayers should always ensure that all the information on their return is accurate to avoid the IRS coming after them. One way to avoid making mistakes on a tax return is by choosing the right tax preparer. It is important for taxpayers to know that they will be held responsible for all information on their income tax return, so they will need to ensure that the right preparer is taking the time to include and review everything.
Optima Tax Relief reviews tips taxpayers should use when selecting a preparer:
Review the preparer’s qualifications. Taxpayers should do their research when searching for a tax preparer who is local to their area. Taxpayers should see what types of qualifications the taxpayer has and if past customers were satisfied with their service.
Look into the preparer’s history. Taxpayers can reach out to the Better Business Bureau about their preparer. Taxpayers have the ability to review the license status for credentialed preparers and to also look into their reviews and complaints from past clients. There are also additional ways taxpayers can look for specific types of preparers:
- Enrolled agents. Taxpayers can go to the IRS website to verify if someone is an enrolled agent.
- Certified Public Accountants: Check with the State Board of Accountancy.
- Attorneys: Check with the State Bar Association.
Request service fees upfront. Avoid preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the refund someone will receive or who say that they can get you a larger refund.
Keep records and receipts. Taxpayers should store any relevant tax documents that may need to be used on their taxes. Once a return is filed, the IRS may ask for substantiation regarding anything placed on your tax return.
Do not sign a blank return. Taxpayers should avoid using a tax preparer who asks them to sign a blank tax form.
Review the information placed on your return before signing. Before signing your tax return, review all information to ensure it is accurate.
Review details about any refund. Taxpayers should confirm the routing and bank account number on their completed return if they are requesting direct deposit.
Make sure the preparer signs the return and includes their PTIN. All paid tax preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. By law, paid preparers must sign returns and include their PTIN on the return they file.