What To Look For In A Tax Preparer

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Many people seek the help of experts when it’s time to file their taxes. If you use a compensated tax preparer to file your return this year, the IRS urges you to choose your tax preparer wisely. Even if a tax return is prepared by someone else, the taxpayer can still be legally accountable for what is on it. Because of this it is essential to select the tax preparer that knows what they’re doing.

This year, the IRS wants to help remind taxpayers to use a preparer who will sign the dividends they prepare along with enter their required Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Here are ten tips to keep in mind when picking a tax return preparer:

1. Offer most records and receipts required to prepare your return. Reliable preparers will request to see your records as well as receipts and will ask you multiple questions to determine your complete earnings as well as your certification for costs, deductions and other items.

2. Look into the preparer’s qualifications. New laws require all compensated tax return preparers to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. Be sure you will be in a position to make contact with the actual tax preparer right after the return has been filed, despite the April due date, in case of problems or issues.

3. Check into the preparer’s history. Verify if the preparer has a questionable history, check for any disciplinary steps and licensure status from the state boards of accountancy for certified public accountants, the state bar associations for attorneys, along with the IRS Office involving enrollment for signed up agents.

4. Make sure the preparer signs the form and lists his or her PTIN. A paid preparer should sign the return and list their PTIN as required by law. Although the preparer signs the return, you are responsible for the accuracy of every item in your return. The preparer needs to also give you a copy of the return. Along with ensuring they have a PTIN, inquire if the preparer is connected to a professional organization and attends continuing education instructional classes. The IRS is also phasing in the new test prerequisite to make certain those that are not enrolled agents, CPAs, or attorneys get met minimal competency requirements. Those that take the test will become an authorized Tax Return Preparer once they complete it.

5. Evaluate the complete return before signing it. Before you sign your own tax return, assess it and inquire about concerns. Make certain you note every little thing and are confident with the accuracy of the return just before you sign it.

6. Inquire about their service fees. Avoid preparers who is basing their fee on a percentage of the refund or people who claim they can get bigger refunds than other preparers. Also, always make certain virtually any refund due is shipped to you or deposited into an account with your name. Under no circumstances should all or part of your refund be deposited right into a preparer’s bank account.

7. Find out if they supply electronic filing. Any paid preparer whom prepares and files more than ten earnings for clientele need to file the dividends electronically, unless the consumer opts to file a new paper return. More than 1 billion individual tax returns have to be correctly and securely refiled since the debut of electronic filing in 1990. Make certain your preparer does IRS e-file.

8. Never initial or sign a blank return. Steer clear of tax preparers that request you to sign a blank tax form.

 

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As seen in Forbes Magazine, Karla Dennis is an expert tax and business strategist. As an enrolled agent, Karla is licensed to represent taxpayers in all 50 states. She holds a Masters in Taxation and Business Development and is the author of two books, Tax Storm and Against the Odds.


Karla, CEO of consultancy firm Karla Dennis And Associates, Inc.™, has saved her clients thousands of dollars and has been featured in various media outlets such as Forbes, MSNBC, KTLA, Yahoo! Finance, and SmartMoney, marking her as the ultimate tax expert.


As of 2014, Karla became the new host on the “Mind Your Business” radio show, KTLK AM 1150, sharing her financial and business knowledge with the greater Orange County and Los Angeles areas. As a supporter of women’s rights and issues, Karla is part of the Women Network, an organization built to educate and mentor women. In addition, Karla is the radio host for Women Network Radio, a show that aims to uplift and empower women of all walks of life.

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