Choosing a Tax Practitioner

By selecting an Enrolled Agent to handle your taxes, you are assured a superior level of taxation expertise – so you can be confident of thorough, insightful service and uncommon professionalism that makes a real difference.

If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, the IRS urges you to choose the preparer wisely. Taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else. So, it is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your tax return. Most return preparers are professional, honest and provide excellent service to their clients.

Anyone can be a paid tax return preparer as long as they have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) and they sign and enter it on all returns they prepare.  However, tax return preparers have differing levels of skills, education and expertise. Many tax professionals belong to national organizations that provide their members with continuing education and ethical guidelines. The National Association of Enrolled Agents have data bases that can help choose a qualified professional in your area. Find an Enrolled Agent

To help taxpayers determine return preparer credentials and qualifications, the IRS has launched a public directory containing certain tax professionals.

What are the key points to remember when hiring a tax practitioner?

Always use a qualified preparer to prepare your return.

  • Preparers should always sign the returns and include their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)
  • Beware of preparers who encourage you to lie or otherwise modify your information in order to get a bigger refund.
  • The taxpayer is responsible for what’s on a tax return. Reputable preparers will ask to see receipts and will ask multiple questions to determine whether expenses, deductions and other items qualify. By doing so, they are trying to help their clients avoid penalties, interest or additional taxes that could result from an IRS examination.
  • The preparer should be available year round to assist with IRS notices or request for an audit of a return. Be sure you know how to reach your preparer after April 15.

Because we want you to remain in compliance, we ask many questions, some that other tax preparers may not ask.