Questions to Ask a Tax Preparer
When interviewing a prospective tax preparer, ask these questions:
- Do you have an IRS issued Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)?
- Do you offer a free initial consultation?
- How do you keep up with the latest tax law?
- Do you regularly take continuing education courses?
- Are you a member of any professional tax or accounting organizations?
- What are your professional credentials?
- Do you abide by a code of ethics?
- How do you determine your fee to prepare my return(s)? Is it a fixed fee or an hourly rate? Is it based on a % of my refund?
- Who will prepare my return? Will it be you or someone else in your office?
- If you have employees who will work on my return, do they hold any credentials and do they take continuing education courses?
- When do you require payment?
- When can I expect to receive my completed tax returns back from you?
- How long have you been in business?
- Are you bonded or insured?
- Do you outsource any tax preparation services?
- What happens if I get audited?
- Will you store my tax information? How will it be stored and for how long?
- Can I contact you after tax season if needed regarding my return?