Did you know you are legally responsible for your tax return, even if someone else prepares it? If something is awry with your paperwork or numbers, you can’t simply tell the IRS “Not my fault—talk to the tax guy!” This is why it’s essential to choose a trustworthy tax preparer in Jamestown, ND to complete your taxes.
How can you know if someone is a reliable tax professional? Use the following checklist to determine if a preparer is worthy of your business:
- Thoroughness: The tax preparer should request all your paperwork to properly complete your return. They should ask plenty of questions to ensure accurate filing. If they attempt to send your return without first reviewing your W2s or gathering the rest of your information, you should find another tax preparer in Jamestown, ND. Filing before you have all your W2s or filing false information is against IRS regulations and could result in serious repercussions.
- Accessibility: Will the tax preparer be around after April 15? Make sure you will be able to contact the professional if questions arise after the filing due date. You don’t want someone who closes up shop and heads to Bermuda on April 16. While some professionals have seasonal business dates and offer varying hours depending on the time of year, you want to ensure you are hiring someone who offers reasonable accessibility.
- X on the line: Even though you are still responsible for the return, the tax preparer must sign the form and provide their preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Also, do not hire a tax preparer that asks you to sign a blank form. This is not a legitimate practice.
- Electronic filing: If the preparer files more than 10 client returns, they must file electronically. If they tell you they have to file a paper return, they are either inexperienced or they are doing something wrong. Billions of tax returns have been filed electronically. It is the standard, trusted system used today. Your tax preparer should be able to complete this process online to make your return as quick and efficient as possible.
- Service fees: How does the tax preparer in Jamestown, ND plan to charge you for services? Avoid anyone who requires that your refund be sent to them, or who works for a percentage of your refund. Never agree to send any part of your refund to their account. Professional tax preparers should tell you up front what their fee will be, and it should not vary depending on the amount you get back on your taxes.
One Final Tip
As you search for a quality tax preparer in Jamestown, ND, look for a qualified professional. Paid tax return preparers must have a PTIN. Check for this identification and also confirm that they have a healthy history. Do they have a good standing with the BBB and the Chamber of Commerce? Can they offer solid references? Craig S. Hanson, CPA has been serving clients in Jamestown, ND since 1986. We attribute our track record of success to our professionalism and top-quality client care. For dependable tax return services, contact our office today.