Image result for Choosing A Tax PreparerTax season is here and it is time for you to get your documents together and visit your tax preparer.  You normally visit the same tax preparer as you need someone you can trust.  At Premium Insurance and Income Tax, we assist our clients in making tax time a smooth process and take every precaution when filing your return.

Choosing a Tax Preparer:

  • Check the Preparer’s Qualifications

Ask your tax preparer if they have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).  Paid tax preparers are required to register with the IRS and have a PTIN included on your tax return.

  • Check the Preparer’s History

You can also check with organizations such as Better Business Bureau for disciplinary actions and license status for credentialed preparers.

  • Ask about Service Fees

Preparers are not allowed to base fees on percentage of a client’s refund.  When asking a preparer about services and fees, never give them your tax documents, Social Security numbers or other personal information.

  • Ask to E-File

Make sure your tax preparers offers e-file from the IRS.  Electronic filing is the safest and most accurate way to file your return and you can use direct deposit.

  • Preparer Availability

As many issues can arise during the year make sure your tax preparer can be contacted and available throughout the year.

  • Provide Records and Receipts

Good preparers will always ask you to see your records and receipts to back information being entered.  They will also ask questions to determine total income, deductions and tax credits.

  • Never Sign a Blank Return

Do not use a tax preparer who requests for you to sign an incomplete or blank tax form.

  • Review your Return Before Signing

Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions if something is unclear.  You should feel comfortable with the accuracy of your return before it is signed.  Review routing and bank account numbers on the completed form so it goes directly to your account and not the tax preparer’s account.  You should always receive a copy of the completed tax return.

  • Ensure the Preparer Signs and Includes their PTIN

By law, all paid tax preparers must have a Preparer Identification Number and the preparer must sign return including their PTIN.

Report Abusive Tax Preparers

Most tax preparers are honest and provide great service to clients but there are some who are dishonest.  You can report abusive tax preparers and if you suspect fraud to the IRS.  There is also a form to file if as the taxpayer you suspect a tax preparer filed or changed a return without the taxpayer’s consent.