Tax tip Tuesday: Choosing the right preparer - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Tax tip Tuesday: Choosing the right preparer

HATTIESBURG, MS (WDAM) - Professional tax preparers are all around. Some work throughout the year; some work only during tax season.

Turning over your taxes to them puts the work in their hands, but leaves the responsibility in the tax payer's hands.

"We just urge people to use caution when they are selecting a preparer and you have to base it on what your needs are," said IRS spokeswoman Dee Stepter.

Stepter said there are several ways you can make sure you choose a good preparer. 

Start by checking the person's qualifications and by looking into their history as a preparer.

"You can ask the preparer for references," Stepter said. "Check with the Better Business Bureau and see if there have been any complaints or problems."

Below are some other things to consider when choosing a preparer:

The IRS says you should avoid preparers who charge you based on how much you get back.

-Your tax preparer should be accessible to you, even after your return is filed.

-Reputable preparers will ask to see your records and they'll ask plenty of questions.

-Avoid tax preparers who ask you to sign a blank tax form.

-Finally, make sure the preparer is helpful in explaining what they did and why they did it.

"If you don't understand something on your return, your preparer should sit down and discuss it with you and explain," said Stepter. "If you have questions they should be willing to sit down, talk with you, and review your tax return with you."

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