For those who still need to prepare their taxes, theBBB has some important tips to consider before proceeding:
- Taxpayers are legally responsible for their taxreturns even if prepared by someone else. So it is important to choosecarefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return.
- New regulations require all paid tax returnpreparers to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
- The IRS advises only using tax specialists, who signthe returns they prepare and enter their PTINs.
- Check credentials –- Is the preparer a CPA, a taxlawyer or an enrolled agent? Will the preparer sign your return andprovide you with a copy?
- Check accessibility –- You may need to contactyour preparer after the tax season is over. Will they be available?
- Be wary of promises –- Until the preparer knowsyour situation, there is no way to know whether you'll get a refund or how bigit will be.
- Know what the service will cost –- Does the feecover changes to your return? Will it increase if you have a complicatedreturn?
- Ask if the preparer will represent you in case of anaudit.
- Make sure your refund that is due is sentdirectly to you or deposited into an account in your name.
- Review the return before signing it. Neversign a blank return. Make sure you receive a copy of the return for yourown records, and make sure the paid preparer signs the return.
For more tips, go to www.bbb.orgor call the BBB's toll free number, 800-649-6814.