It may seem overwhelming to find the right one, but I got you. My #ChikasTaxTip: do your due and use this guide as a starting point to finding the right preparer. I can’t stress how important it is to fit the right person for this job.
Do your research.
According to the IRS, all tax preparers are required to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications tool to search through different tax preparers through their PTIN. This tool helps taxpayers find a tax return preparer with specific qualifications.
And of course, the Better Business Bureau is your friend.
Know the signs
I don’t care who it is, a preparer should always ask to see your records whether it be financial statements and/or receipts. If not, they’re not doing their job correctly. It may sound obvious, but trust me, it’s not.
If you like your money quick, make sure to ask to E-File beforehand. This is the quickest way to get your money. Most legit tax preparers should e-file by default
Your preparer should be able to answer basic tax questions on your form and stay up-to-date on changes in tax law.
Your tax preparer should never ask you to sign a return without reviewing it with you first. You should feel safe and comfortable to ask questions if something is not making sense. You should also receive a copy of the completed tax return. All of this is non-negotiable. If at any point you don’t feel able to do any of this, choose another preparer!
Also, when preparer signs their tax form, they should include their PTIN. If they don’t sign your return, you guessed it, choose another preparer.
What’s also important? Trust your gut. If it doesn’t feel right, it probably isn’t. You should be met with 100% professionalism from your tax preparer. It’s too important of a job to not feel safe about your choice.
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