Five Questions to Ask Your Tax Preparer

February 25, 2016

Many Indiana taxpayers rely on the guidance and expertise of tax preparers when it’s time to file their individual income tax returns. However, it’s important to remember that you are responsible for what is on your tax return even if it is prepared by someone else.

Here are five questions you should ask when looking for a trustworthy tax preparer:

  • How can I get in touch with you if I have a question or problem after tax season? Find a preparer who will be there for you during tax season and beyond. Avoid pop-up and seasonal tax preparation shops.
  • What are your service fees? Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of your refund. Not only is this practice unethical – it’s illegal, too!
  • Will I get a copy of my tax return? Always be sure the tax preparer provides you a copy of your return for your records.
  • Who will sign my return? Never sign a blank tax return! Always review your return and ask questions. Be sure your tax preparer signs the return and includes his PTIN (preparer tax identification number). Don’t trust a preparer who refuses to sign your return.
  • What security measures do you take to protect my personal information? Your personal documents should be kept in locked containers, and data should be encrypted on computers used to file tax returns. If you provide the tax preparer paper copies of your information, make sure it will be properly destroyed when it is no longer needed.

Find more tips for finding a reputable tax preparer at www.in.gov/dor/4618.htm.

Visit the Indiana CPA Society or the Indiana Society of Enrolled Agents websites to find a reputable tax preparer near you.