Shopping for a Competent Tax Preparer
To file a tax return on behalf of a client the preparer needs a federal Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). To represent a client to the IRS they also need to be an enrolled agent, CPA, or attorney.
But, even if they are registered and have a PTIN number, it does not necessarily mean that they are competent. In a recent audit, the IRS had found substantial errors — overlooking common deductions, or incorrectly interpreting the tax code.
You might even want to hire another tax preparer to review previous tax returns to make sure you claimed everything you were entitled to deduct.
Before hiring a tax preparer, consider the following…