IRS Shares Tips on Choosing a Tax Return Preparer
Earlier this week, the IRS provided guidance to taxpayers on selecting a professional tax return preparer. We thought we would share the 9 tips contained in their advisory and show how we stack up.
As mentioned by the IRS, taxpayers are legally responsible for the information reported in their tax return, even when they pay someone to prepare the tax return for them. So it is important to choose wisely. In making the choice, the IRS provided 9 points to consider:
Check the person’s qualifications.
At Mueller & Associates, all of us are registered with the IRS as Professional Tax Return Preparers, and each of us has been assigned a Preparer Tax ID Number (PTIN). In addition, the Firm is a member of the AICPA and the Colorado Society of CPAs. Further, firm policy mandates a minimum of 40 hours of continuing education annually for all of our staff.
Check the preparer’s history.
Paul has been a CPA for 35 years, and the firm has been in business in Loveland and Estes Park since 2008. We are not aware of any disciplinary actions or licensure issues on file with the Colorado Board of Accountancy administered by DORA.
Find out about their service fees.
We do not base our fees on the size of your refund, now will we ever claim that we can obtain larger refunds than any other professional tax return preparer. Refunds are always sent directly to the taxpayer, by check or direct deposit. We do not offer Refund Anticipation Loans (RALs) nor fee-based debit cards to advance your refund.
Ask if they offer electronic filing.
We have efiled all possible returns since 2008. This improves the accuracy of tax return processing, and safeguards your confidential, personal tax information.
Make sure the tax preparer is accessible.
We’re here all year and available to answer questions, respond to tax notices and help you plan for the future.
Prepares the tax return based on records and receipts. We will ask for, but not audit, supporting documentation for items included in your tax return. We will often ask multiple questions to properly determine and categorize your income and expenses. We will not file a tax return without reasonable documentation.
Never sign a blank return.
We’re not going there, and neither should you.
Review the entire return before signing it.
In fact, we will not efile the tax return until you furnish us authorization and have had the time to look over the tax return. After all, no one is perfect.
Make sure the preparer signs the return including their PTIN.
We electronically sign all tax returns and include our PTIN. Although each tax return is efiled, all clients are provided a copy of the tax return for their records.
Preparing a tax return isn’t something that should be taken lightly or cheaply. We pride ourselves on not only doing a quality job accurately preparing tax returns, but in looking for opportunities that might minimize tax liabilities or maximize tax benefits in the future.