Knowing who you are doing business with when filing your income taxes is a major issue. They have your most guarded financial information in their hands! You should feel comfortable and trust who you are dealing with! IRS has made it mandatory that a reputable preparer is now required:
- To obtain a PTIN number which registers them with the IRS and is a form of notification to IRS that that individual is now preparing taxes for money.
- They should voluntarily display their educational certificates also required by IRS.
- They should have no disciplinary actions recorded against them which can be found on IRS.gov.
- They should be offering E-filing as IRS also requires that returns be e-filed unless they meet one of 8 issues for filing paper return which are related to business returns.
- Their pricing should NOT be based on a percentage your amount of refund. They should provide you with a complete copy of your return including all schedules and worksheets and pricing before preparation begins.
- They should require you to provide all documents such as 1099s, W2s and expenses you are about to claim BEFORE doing your tax return.
- They should require you to sign Form 8879 to e-file your return before it is sent to the IRS.
- They should go through your return with you to make sure you understand what has been reported on your return on your behalf.
- They should be available year round for your questions or changes in your tax situation such as marriage, new dependents, retirement and other things that may change after tax season has ended.
Making yourself aware of these things will allow you to enjoy a safe and knowledgeable next tax season! Good luck!!