What the IRS looks for in tax preparers

The 2007 tax season may be months away, but the Internal Revenue Service is already providing taxpayers with tips on how they should select tax preparers.

The IRS offers that most return preparers are professional, honest and provide excellent service to their clients.

Taxpayers are encouraged to consider the following points when someone else prepares their return:

  • A Paid Preparer is required by law to sign the return and fill in the preparer areas of the form. The preparer should also include their appropriate identifying number on the return. Although the Preparer signs the return, you are responsible for the accuracy of every item on your return. In addition, the preparer must give you a copy of the return.

  • Review the completed return to ensure all tax information, your name, address and Social Security number(s) are correct. Make sure that none of these spaces is left blank.

  • Review and ensure you understand the entries and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign.

  • Never sign a blank return, and never sign in pencil.

  • If you have provided specific authorization in a power of attorney filed with the IRS, you may have copies of notices or refund checks mailed to your preparer or representative; but only you can sign and cash your refund check. For further information on Powers of Attorney, refer to Topic 311.

  • A paid preparer must sign the return as required by law.

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