Are You a Reputable Tax Preparer?

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The IRS Tax Tip 2023-127 provides taxpayers with a checklist for choosing a tax pro.   It seems that preparers can “reverse engineer” this list to ensure they are considered “reputable”.
Take a minute and review the recommendations and see how you “stack up”.
From The IRS Tax Tip 2023-127

Here are some tips to help people choose a preparer.

Check the IRS Directory of PreparersTaxpayers can find an enrolled agent, CPA, attorney or participant in Annual Filing Season Program with the IRS Directory of Preparers

Checklist for choosing a tax proBefore hiring a tax preparer:

  • Check the preparer’s history with the Better Business Bureau. Taxpayers can also verify an enrolled agent’s status on IRS.gov.
  • Ask about fees. Taxpayers should avoid tax return preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the refund or who offer to deposit all or part of their refund into their financial accounts. Taxpayers should be suspicious of preparers claiming they can get larger refunds than other tax preparers.
  • Ask if the preparer plans to use e-fileThe fastest way to get a tax refund is by e-filing and choosing direct deposit.
  • Choose a firm or individual with a track record. Preparers may need to answer questions about the tax return months or even years later.
  • Ensure the preparer signs the tax return and includes their Preparer Tax Identification Number. Paid tax return preparers must have a PTIN and include it on any tax return they prepare.
  • Consider the person’s credentials. Only attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS in tax matters. Other tax return preparers who participate in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program have limited practice rights to represent taxpayers during audits of returns they prepared.

Watch out for tax preparer scamsTax return preparer fraud is a common tax scam. Here are tips on avoiding unscrupulous tax preparers.

The IRS is committed to investigating paid tax return preparers who act improperly. Taxpayers can file a complaint if they have been financially impacted by a tax return preparer’s misconduct or improper tax preparation practices.

More information:Choosing a Tax Professional

Publication 17, Your Federal Income Tax

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Gary DeHart has worked in media for more than 25 years and has been instrumental in developing new revenue streams and business opportunities for the companies he has worked for. Prior to launching Insightful Accountant (formerly Intuitive Accountant), Gary was the Associate Publisher of Accounting Today. Prior to working in media serving the public accounting market, he worked in media for employee benefit managers and brokers, automotive design, textile manufacturing and recreational boating. In addition to being the Publisher and Managing Partner of Insightful Accountant, Gary works with select clients within the accounting market on channel development and growth. He is an Assistant Scoutmaster with the Boy Scouts of America, enjoys fly fishing, time on the beach, cooking on the Big Green Egg and spending time with his family.