Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tax Season Tips – Selecting a Tax Preparer

My previous post gave taxpayers a bit of information regarding FREE tax filing services for individuals, but what if you have a complicated tax matter, or need a corporate tax return prepared? Odds are the taxpayer is going to have to seek out the assistance of a professional tax preparer. Selecting a tax preparer can become a tricky undertaking for many. As I browsed the postings in the financial section of craigslist, I came across a great deal of “ads” offering taxpayers money for referrals, and some even offering gifts for tax preparation services. Although a majority of these ads stated that they were licensed professionals, their code of ethics seems to fall by the way side. Some ads would guarantee refunds and their payment would be a percentage of the said refund. This is a major no-no from the IRS. Other things taxpayers should avoid are:

• Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of your refund or who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.
• Avoid tax preparers that ask you to sign a blank tax form.
• Check to see if the preparer has any questionable history with the Better Business Bureau
• Find out if the preparer belongs to a professional organization that requires its members to pursue continuing education and also holds them accountable to a code of ethics.

These are just a few tips to keep a taxpayer in voluntary compliance and avoid penalties and interest in the long run.

Keeping Your Business N Synergy
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