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Tax Return Preparation Service

Why Consumers You Should Use Caution When Choosing A Tax Return Preparation Service.

Article By : Patrick Mansfield | U.S. Gov Connect
Tax Preparer Warning

Statistics show that most people prefer to hire an experienced tax preparer or tax preparer service to prepare their tax returns. A tax preparer should be skilled and very reliable. After all, they are responsible for providing an accurate tax return. Otherwise, the tax payer's tax refund is in jeopardy. Still, the taxpayer is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the form. It is easy to identify the professional tax preparer. They are highly skilled, stay up to date on tax laws, and are required to have a PTIN or a tax preparer identification number.

Make sure that the lines of communication are open between you and your tax preparer on matters concerning the tax refund. Errors and mistakes happen on tax forms frequently. This raises a red flag with the IRS. They might contact you to answer questions about the form. The preparer should be readily available to answer any questions about your tax return form. Most people are not prepared to deal with the IRS or answer questions about the tax form. A tax preparer is able to act on the behalf of their client. Therefore, it is important to make sure that third party authorization is assigned on the 1040 PDF Form, 1040A PDF, 1040E PDF. This authorization is limited to one year. However, topic 312 provides important information on extending third party authorization, using Form 8821 PDF, Tax Information Authorization. 

Finding A Reliable Tax Preparer:

There are a lot of shady characters out there during the tax season. They open up shop and display fake credentials, documents, and awards. Many are con artists that are trying to steal your money and identity. Use due caution. Check the tax preparers credentials carefully. Ask them questions about their experience. Examine your tax return carefully after preparation. Look for any noticeable errors. Learn more about dishonest and abusive preparers at IRS.gov.

Consider The Following Points Before Hiring A Tax Prepartion Service:

  • Watch out for any tax preparer service that claims you will get a substantially larger tax refund than expected.
  • Watch out for any preparer that offers to transfer your money into their financial account.
  • Avoid any tax preparer or tax preparer service that does not have a PTIN. All professional tax preparers must have this designation.
  • Ask to see their PTIN. Make sure that they sign the tax form, and provide a copy to you.
  • Ask if they will be available for questioning after the tax return season is over.
  • Ask to see the tax preparer’s credentials. The IRS recommends hiring a CPA or enrolled agents to handle tax preparation. Those professionals are also able to represent their clients in matters concerning audits, collections, or appeals.
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