BBB: Research before hiring a tax preparer

Posted at 10:49 AM, Feb 29, 2016
and last updated 2016-02-29 12:49:18-05
If you haven't filed your taxes yet, you may be considering hiring a tax preparer to help you get the biggest return. The Better Business Bureau warns to keep a few things in mind before you work with a tax preparer.
"Make sure they offer the services you need. These professionals offer a variety of services in addition to completing your return. They are familiar with tax saving strategies, can help you organize and plan for next year’s taxes and help determine if you are required to pay taxes each quarter," the BBB's Dale Dixon said.
Dixon also says to be wary of anyone guaranteeing big returns without knowing your individual situation.
"Check credentials. Is the preparer a CPA, accountant or enrolled tax agent? Does the preparer belong to a professional organization that requires members to adhere to a code of ethics? Many tax professionals belong to national organizations that provide their members with continuing education and ethical guidelines," Dixon said.
Also be sure to determine the cost. Double check preparation fees and review your return before signing it. Make sure the paid preparer signs the return along with his or her preparer tax identification number. If your tax preparer makes a mistake, it’s still your responsibility, Dixon continued.
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