There are many types of tax preparers. They are CPA holders, lawyers, and enrolled agents, among others, who lack professional credentials. Your expectation of a tax preparer is that they are skilled and can file your tax returns accurately. This is the person you trust with most of your private details. They know personal details concerning your marriage, kids, income and social security number. In short, they have almost all details concerning your finances. A lot of these tax preparers offer their clients professional and outstanding services. However, every year, a few tax payers get financially hurt for choosing the wrong tax services provider. Read on to know the tips for choosing a reliable tax services provider and avoid getting financially hurt.
1. Review then Sign
Before you sign a tax return, make sure to review it. If anything is not clear, ask the preparer questions. Always make sure that you are okay with the information on your returns before signing. The return should always go to your bank, not the preparer’s. therefore, check to see that the bank account number is yours. In addition, always ask for a copy of that final tax return.
2. Report to the IRS, All Abusive Tax Service Providers
A lot of the tax preparers provide good services and are honest with their customers. However, there are some who cannot be honest with clients. They are abusive but not physically. If any one of them has been abusive to you or has committed tax fraud, you should report them to the IRS. All you have to do is fill Form 14157, file a Complaint, then choose Tax Return Preparer. If your tax preparer files or changes your returns without your knowledge, you should fill out Form 14157-A, which is for reporting Misconduct Affidavit or Preparer Fraud. You can easily get these forms on the IRS.gov whenever you want. Do not allow the service providers to take advantage of you in any way. Make sure you are educated on what to expect and what not to expect them to do so you’ll know when you are being harassed.
3. Ask them About the Charges for their Services
Do not hire tax preparers who charge way higher than their competitors or those who charge their fees based on a given fraction of the total refund. While you are still learning more about the tax preparer, do not provide them with your social security number, tax forms, or any other information that is private. Some preparers are not honest and could use the information you give them to file for returns without your consent.
4. Check their Availability
It can be expensive hiring preparers who can avail themselves at any time. However, it will be worth it in the end because you will have peace of mind knowing you can get all the answers you want any time.
You can turn to your family, friends and workmates to refer you to any tax preparers they know of. In case you moved to a new location, check the CPA society in your state where you can get CPA holders that can help you file returns. Do not make your choice right away. Use all the above tips to eliminate and narrow in on the most qualified from the list of referrals.
6. Check Affiliations
Ensure that the service provider you hire has connections to a professional company that continuously educates its members while giving resources to help make them better at their job. In addition, such affiliates help to hold the tax preparers to a given code of ethics, which they must meet.
7. Check History
You should check with Better Business Bureau to make sure that the preparer has a clean background. Check if they have had any past disciplinary issues in the past and what they were. All these will help you determine if the preparer can be trusted or not.
All matters concerning tax should not be taken lightly. Taxpayers have been conned off their cash by preparers who took advantage of those who are not well-informed on tax matters. However, with the above tips, you can rest assured that you will end up with the right preparer.