The IRS recommends to certify that the preparer electronically submit the returns.
If you are planning to hire a person to prepare your taxes, the IRS has some tips for the selection process.
It is important to carefully choose who will prepare your tax returns, because it doesn’t matter who prepares it to you, you are the responsible for your declaration. If a fraudulent tax preparer, involved in illegal actions, prepare your taxes, you could owe taxes, fines and interest for filing a fraudulent tax return.
Here are some tips to help you choose your tax preparer.
1. Do a quick search
If you pay someone to prepare your return, it is required by law the person to have the tax identification number from the IRS preparer (PTIN). However, they all have different levels of education, training and professional credentials.
You can look up a preparer's credentials and select the qualifications in the IRS directory. If the person is an enrolled agent, a professional designation issued by the IRS, you can check their status on the IRS website. You can also take a look at a list of searchable IRS preparers that have been censored, suspended and similar actions.
2- The Preparer Availability
If you have questions about your return after the end of the tax season or if you end up being audited, you will probably want to know if your tax preparer is available to help you.
It is important to consider whether the person or company is available to answer questions about the preparation of your tax return months, even years, after the return has been filed.
3. The Cost for Services
Ask about the rates. The IRS recommends avoiding hiring a preparer who will charge you based on the percentage of your refund or affirms you a higher refund than the one you expect.
Important: Have this conversation before delivering any identification data, including your tax documents or your social security number.
The average rate charged to prepare a detailed Form 1040 with Schedule C (detailed deduction form) and a state return was $300 in a survey conducted last year by the National Society of Accountants.
4. Ask about e-filing
The IRS says that you have to make sure that the preparer submits electronic declarations returns.