Tax Preparedness Series: 2016 (with the help of IRS blogs on the relevant subjects)
Make a Wise Choice when Selecting a Tax Preparer
As the tax season has already begun, sinceÂ entering into the March month, there is still time to choose a return preparer. If you file now, and approach the Tax Preparer now, you have time for Tax planning and can relax later, rather than rush tax filing.
This blog tries to explain, with the help of series of IRS weekly tax preparedness releases. It is designed to help taxpayers plan their 2015 return, explains what needs to be noted before you go ahead and handover your documents to the chosen tax payer.
- Ethical preparer.Taxpayers entrust some of their most vital personal data with the person preparing their tax return, including income, investments and Social Security numbers. Who pushes you to plan taxes rather than Tax evasion.
- Ask about service fees.Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund or those who say they can get larger refunds than others. Taxpayers need to ensure that any refund due is sent to them or deposited into their bank account, not into a preparerâ€™s account.
- Tax identification number (PTIN).Paid tax return preparers must have a current PTIN to prepare a tax return. It is also a good idea to ask the preparer if they belong to a professional organization and attend continuing education classes.
- Ask fore-file.Â While papaer file takes longer as good as 4-8 weeks, e filing is not only quick but easy to go ahead with. Any paid preparer who prepares and files more than 10 returns for clients generally must file the returns electronically.
- Provide tax records.A good preparer will ask to see records and receipts. Do not use a preparer who is willing to e-file a return using the latest pay stub instead of the Form W-2. This is against IRS e-file rules.
- Make sure the preparer is available after the filing due date.This may be helpful if questions come up about the tax return. Taxpayers can designate their paid tax return preparer or another third party to speak to the IRS concerning the preparation of their return, payment/refund issues and mathematical errors. The third party authorization checkbox onÂ Form 1040,Â Form 1040AÂ andForm 1040EZÂ gives the designated party the authority to receive and inspect returns and return information for one year from the original due date of the return (without regard to extensions).
- Review the tax return and ask questions before signing.Taxpayers are legally responsible for whatâ€™s on their return, regardless of whether someone else prepared it. Make sure itâ€™s accurate before signing it.
- Never sign a blank tax return.If a taxpayer signs a blank return the preparer could then put anything they want on the return â€” even their own bank account number for the tax refund.