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right tax preparer

Choosing The Right Tax Preparer

September 12, 2014

Do you wonder about your tax preparer’s honesty? Well, you have every right to be cautious when choosing the right tax preparer to handle your return. In an all too common scam, unscrupulous tax preparers file fraudulent tax returns on their clients’ behalf.

Taxpayer Beware!

The fraudulent tax preparer is deceptive and manipulative. They may commit fraud with your consent, earned through manipulation or coercion, or they may even commit the fraud without you noticing. The fraudulent tax preparer knows how to persuade you while giving you false information for his benefit.

The thing to remember here is that when your tax preparer commits fraud by filing false or inaccurate returns on your behalf, the IRS will still hold you, the taxpayer, responsible for any additional unpaid tax, and not the tax preparer.

How to Choose the Right Tax Preparer

So, how can you stay clear of fraudulent tax preparers? Here are some pointers.

As a fraudulent tax preparer profits from the refund you receive, he will ask you to pay him a percentage of the refund. Be cautious of preparers that claim they can obtain larger refunds without elaborating the details. You should never sign a blank return or let the preparer file it without reviewing the information on it, and be wary of any tax professional who asks you to do this. Another thing to ask for is the tax preparer’s Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) which you should keep for future reference. Make sure you can contact the preparer after the return has been filed.

A better option for the job is a reputable tax professional that signs the tax return and provides you with a copy. The professionals will ask you to provide them with your records and receipts and will request information about your total income and your qualifications for deductions and credits, etc. Another thing to do is to check the tax preparer’s credentials and look for a personal recommendation. Attorneys, certified public accountants (CPAs), and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS, so it is better to work with those employed by a trustworthy organization.