Four Steps that will help you hire the Right Tax Preparer in Virginia

Tips for hiring a tax preparerFinding The Right Tax Preparer

It’s tax time, and before hiring someone to do your taxes, it’s wise to do some research on prospective tax preparers.

When the time comes to file taxes, scammers find a number of ways to take advantage of consumers, exploiting the increased transfer of financially sensitive information. While many scams involve strategic hacks into people’s financial accounts or phishing emails to gain information, sometimes it is the tax preparer who is exploiting information exchanged in confidence from a paying customer.

What is it you should look for in a prospective tax preparer? 

  • Go to the IRS preparer directory and find the name of the preparer you want to hire. Professional tax preparers are required to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). If you don’t see their name, do not hire them.
  • Visit the state licensing board website to ensure that the preparer’s license is valid and in good standing.
  • Check out the Better Business Bureau and look for any complaints that may have been filed about your potential hire.
  • If your preparer claims to be part of a professional association, visit the website to make sure they are actually a member. You can also contact the association to inquire about any complaints that may have been made against the preparer.

If you have any concerns about your taxes & identity theft, please contact our Virginia Beach attorneys today!

Taking these steps will help weed out problematic tax preparers and provide more information about others you may want to hire instead. The tax preparer industry is relatively unregulated, which means that unethical preparers can exist under the radar more easily. As always, if you have any questions, please contact us by calling 888-691-9319 or fill out this short form to get started. 

Check out these blogs for information on related topics:

Fighting Identity Theft at Tax Time
What Can You Do To Protect Against Malicious Websites and Phishing Emails
The IRS and Its Trouble With Tax Fraud

 

 

Kellam T. Parks
Managing Member of Parks Zeigler, PLLC
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