As the April 18 income tax filing deadline approaches, the Internal Revenue Service is reminding taxpayers to select who will prepare their 2016 federal tax return wisely. A reputable preparer will ask to see a taxpayer’s records and receipts and can help file an extension to give the taxpayer time to collect any missing documents. The IRS urges taxpayers to avoid fly-by-night preparers who may not be available after April 18 and suggests checking the return preparer’s qualifications and history.
The IRS “Choosing a Tax Professional” page has information about tax preparer credentials and qualifications. All paid tax preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. They must sign the return and include their PTIN. IRS also recommended asking about fees before providing personal financial records and receipts. Review the return and ask questions before signing it.