Still need to file your taxes? What to check when going to a preparer

Still need to file your taxes? What to check when going to a preparer
(Photo source: WDAM Archives)

LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The clock is ticking for you to file your taxes, with the deadline Tuesday, April 17.

If you are in last-minute rush, remember to pay attention to who you file with.

"That's the number one thing," said accountant Emily Ellzey. "Make sure your preparer is qualified, honest and reliable."

Ellzey provides tax services in Laurel. She said one thing to check, to make sure your preparer is legit, is for a Preparer tax identification number. The PTIN is a background check provided by the IRS. You can look up certified preparers in your area to make sure someone with your files isn't a phony.

"Make sure they are going to be there, even when tax season is over, because you may get a letter and have a problem," said Ellzey. "Even if tax season is over, many people don't know where to go."

Reports say nearly one in three taxpayers wait until April to file, many waiting until the very last minute. If that's you, it's time to get your documents together, and don't forget your bank information for your return to be directly deposited into your account. Ellzey said that is the safest and quickest way to get your return.

Ellzey also suggested using a preparer with a flat rate, based on forms, than someone taking a percentage of your return. That could trigger someone falsifying your files, to get more back.

You can view more last-minute tax tips from Wallethub here.