In every industry there will be people trying to make a quick buck (by cutting corners or running scams) but your taxes are not a good place to take risks. So what's a good way to ensure your tax preparer is on the up and up? Don't worry, we made you a list.
Not everything on this list is about avoiding scam artists. These are just some good rules of thumb when choosing a tax preparer, because they aren't all created equally.
Check their history
It's a good idea to do your own search about the tax preparer's qualifications.
You can check the Better Business Bureau .They may not be BBB accredited but if they have any major red flags they should show up here.
You may email to verify their status. Email: email@example.com
Check their Google reviews (won't help verify their credentials but it may give you an idea about whether they are someone you want to work with)
R & I Tax and Bookkeeping Services, INC has an A+ on BBB. You may also see our reviews either on our website or on our Google listing.
Anyone who prepares your taxes must have a preparer tax identification number. They are required to sign and include their PTIN for every tax return they file.
As required, Linda signs and gives her PTIN on every finished tax return.
Will they be there for you?
Ask some bold questions about whether they can be there for you (year round). It is so common for tax accountants to get back-logged which makes them unavailable. Also, sometimes tax preparers work seasonally.
Imagine that you are applying for a loan and you need last year's tax return. It's important they are there for you.
We will be there for you year around. But if you ever need your tax return and you can't get ahold of us then you can always sign into your Taxdome account and see your tax return there. Taxdome is a user friendly secure portal we use to keep your documents safe and also accessible to you.
What are their fees like?
Beware of tax preparers that make big claims about getting you huge returns. And beware of tax preparers that base their fee on how big your return is.
Our fees are based on the complexity of your taxes. If you only have a couple W2's then that'll be a smaller fee compared to a c-corp and complicated personal taxes with loads of investments. Either way, the fees are custom to you. See our pricing here.
Will they e-file?
E-file is the way. E-filing is the quickest and best way to file your taxes. It's crucial to get a tax preparer who will e-file.
Yes, we e-file.
Okay, so you chose your tax preparer. Now what?
Here are some things to keep in mind as you continue on your tax journey:
Good tax preparers are going to ask for the details. They will want to see your W2's (not just your paystubs). They will want records, receipts, etc. (not just take your word for it). Their butt is held responsible as well so if they are on the up and up then they will do their due diligence to double check the numbers
You should look over the tax return and ask questions (if you have any) before you sign.
The tax refund should go directly to you, not to your tax preparer
You are ultimately responsible for filing a complete and accurate tax return. Never sign a tax return that you know is incomplete or false.
How to file a complaint against a tax preparer-
Okay, so maybe something went really wrong.
Here is the form you need to make a complaint against a tax preparer:
If you scroll towards the end of the form you will see instructions about how to get it to the right people.
I wish you the best.
This blog post is not a substitute for legal or financial advice and is not liable for any misinformation that may have been provided. This information has been provided by the IRS newsletter and website.