- Beware of anyone promising a refund before they have even reviewed your financial information.
- Be sure you carefully review the return once it is prepared. Your preparer must sign it too.
- Never sign a blank return and never sign it in pencil.
- Find out how long they have been doing tax returns.
- Are they an Enrolled Agent or CPA?
Be aware the IRS hold you accountable for the accuracy of your return, even if you have someone else prepare it. Be sure you at least look over your return to be sure the Social Security Numbers are all correct and all income number were accurately reported. Also be sure you were not given any deductions you were not entitled too.
Unscrupulous prepares will give clients deductions they are not entitled to to get them bigger refunds and get a larger fee. It is not legal or ethical to do this. You are the one who will be penalized if you took deductions you should not have. You will pay not only additional tax, but accuracy penalties and failure to pay penalties.
Choose your preparer carefully, like you would any other professional. Check their credentials and ask others who they would recommend. A good tax preparer may save you money, a poor one will likely cost you money.