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Points to Keep in Mind When Choosing A Tax Preparer

If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, the IRS urges you to choose that preparer wisely. Taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when choosing someone else to prepare your return:

Check the person’s qualifications. Ask if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that provides its members with continuing education and resources and holds them to a code of ethics. New regulations require all paid tax return preparers including attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents to apply for a Preparer Tax Identification Number — even if they already have one — before preparing any federal tax returns in 2011.

We are proud members of CalCPA and we value continuing education.

Check on the preparer’s history. Check to see if the preparer has a questionable history with the Better Business Bureau and check for any disciplinary actions and licensure status through the state boards of accountancy for certified public accountants; the state bar associations for attorneys; and the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility for enrolled agents.

  To see your grade with the Better Business Bureau you can click here

Find out about their service fees. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or those who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.

No surprises here. We make sure that all of our clients know what our fees are before we start any work.

Make sure the tax preparer is accessible. Make sure you will be able to contact the tax preparer after the return has been filed, even after the April due date, in case questions arise.

We are big fans of technology, so we give all clients access to their tax returns 24/7 through our secure portal.

Provide all records and receipts needed to prepare your return. Most reputable preparers will request to see your records and receipts and will ask you multiple questions to determine your total income and your qualifications for expenses, deductions and other items.

We prepare a customized tax organizer for each of our clients to ensure that all tax paper work is neatly organizer and that ensures we help you get the most of your return.

Never sign a blank return. Avoid tax preparers that ask you to sign a blank tax form.


Review the entire return before signing it. Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions. Make sure you understand everything and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it.

We utilize technology once again and use software that allows you to sign your return electronically. If something doesn’t look right, we fix it immediately.

Make sure the preparer signs the form and includes their PTIN.A paid preparer must sign the return and include their PTIN as required by law. Although the preparer signs the return, you are responsible for the accuracy of every item on your return. The preparer must also give you a copy of the return.

Always. Once your return in complete, you will be given a copy of your return that will include this information.

Choosing the right accounting solutions provider and advisory firm is one of the most important decisions you will make for your company. The right accounting team and Trusted Advisor relationship will give you access to a team that will work “in the trenches” with you to meet challenges head-on, to search for ways to streamline and standardize business processes, “wow” new and existing customers by making it easy to work with your back office, and truly feel like your most critical allies. Let us take care of your business at MBS Accountancy.

Originally posted and shared from:, November 2, 2012

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