Last February 28, The Internal Revenue Service reminded taxpayers to refer to their useful tips and tools in finding a qualified tax professional. Since 2015, a Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers Credentials and Select Qualifications has been available on the IRS website for the public. The directory is a searchable and sortable database that provides information about credentialed return preparers.
The official website of the IRS also makes available a list of tips for selecting tax professionals and a page dedicated to IRS Tax Pro Association Partner that provides links to national nonprofit tax professional groups which can help taxpayers.
To avoid becoming a victim of tax scams, here are some tips in hiring a qualified tax professional:
- Select an ethical preparer.
- Never sign a blank tax return.
- Check and ask questions before signing the tax return. You are held liable to whatever indicated in your tax return even when it is prepared by a tax professional.
- Make sure the tax professional includes his/her Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) along with the official signature.
However, it should also be noted that tax preparer scam is not the only thing that you must avoid this tax filing season. There are also innumerable tax scams that can victimize unsuspecting individuals and to keep scammers at bay, here’s a quick guide to help you avoid a rogue tax preparer and other tax scams.
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