Tips on Choosing a Tax Preparer & CPA

Most tax preparers or Certified Public Accountants (CPA) provide good service to their clients, but the IRS always urges taxpayers to be very careful when choosing one. You should be as careful in selecting a tax preparer as you would in choosing a doctor or lawyer. It is important to know that even if someone else prepares your return, you are ultimately responsible for all of the information on the tax return.

What to look for when choosing a tax preparer:

  1. Avoid tax preparers who claim that they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.
  2. Use a reputable tax professional who signs your tax return and provides you with a copy for your records.
  3. Consider whether the individual or firm will be around to answer questions about the preparation of your tax return months, or even years, after your return has been filed.
  4. No matter who prepares your tax return, you are ultimately responsible for all information on your tax return; therefore, never sign a blank tax form.
  5. Review your return before you sign it and ask questions on things that you don't understand.
  6. Avoid preparers whose fee is based on a percentage of the refund amount.
  7. Tax evasion is a risky crime, a felony, punishable by five years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
  8. Find out the tax preparer's credentials. Is he/she an Accredited Tax Preparer, Enrolled Agent, CPA, Licensed Public Accountant, or Tax Attorney? Only CPAs, attorneys, and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS in all matters, including audits, collections, and appeals. Other return preparers may only represent taxpayers for audits.
  9. Find out if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that provides members with continuing education and resources and holds them to a code of ethics.
  10. Ask questions. Do you know anyone who has used a tax professional? Were they satisfied with the service they received?

 

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I understand that in visiting this site I am not entering into an attorney client relationship with Warren R. Trazenfeld, P.A., or any attorney within the law firm. The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for individual advice regarding your own situation.

Copyright © 2005 Warren R. Trazenfeld