- Check the Preparer’s Qualifications: Find a tax return preparer with the qualifications that you prefer. Ask to see if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that provides its members with continuing education and resources and holds them accountable to a code of ethics. Your preparer should have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) that is used when signing your return.
- Check the Preparer’s History: Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the preparer has a questionable history. Also check with the State Board of Accountancy to verify the status of their license and any disciplinary actions against them.
- Ask about Service Fees: Avoid preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the refund or who boast bigger refunds than their competition.
- Ask to E-file: Any paid preparer who prepares and files more than 10 returns for clients generally must file electronically. The IRS has safely processed billions of e-filed tax returns.
- Make Sure the Preparer is Available: Make sure that you are able to stay in contact with the preparer after the return has been filed, even after the due date in April, in case any questions arise regarding your tax return. Taxpayers can also benefit from year-round tax advice if the preparer is available after the filing deadline.
- Provide Records and Receipts: Reputable preparers will request to see your records and receipts and will ask you questions about them to help them determine information for your tax return. This will help them to figure your total income, tax deductions, credits, and other items. Do not use a preparer who will electronic file your return using your last pay stub instead of your W-2.
- Never Sign a Blank Return: Avoid tax preparers who ask you to sign a blank tax form.
- Review before Signing: Before signing your return, make sure to review it and ask any questions that you may have. Make sure that you feel comfortable with the accuracy and understand everything before you sign. Be sure to review your bank account and routing number for your bank so the refund goes directly to you.
- Ensure the Preparer Signs and Includes Their PTIN: All paid tax preparers must sign the return and include their PTIN as required by law. Although the preparer signs your return, you are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of it. Your preparer must also provide you with a copy of your return.
The Taxpayer Bill of Rights
- The Right to Be Informed. Taxpayers have the right to know what they need to do to comply with the tax laws. They are entitled to clear explanations of the laws and IRS procedures in all tax forms, instructions, publications, notices, and correspondence. They have the right to be informed of IRS decisions about their tax accounts and to receive clear explanations of the outcomes.
- The Right to Quality Service. Taxpayers have the right to receive prompt, courteous, and professional assistance in their dealings with the IRS, to be spoken to in a way they can easily understand, to receive clear and easily understandable communications from the IRS, and to speak to a supervisor about inadequate service.
- The Right to Pay No More than the Correct Amount of Tax. Taxpayers have the right to pay only the amount of tax legally due, including interest and penalties, and to have the IRS apply all tax payments properly.
- The Right to Challenge the IRS’s Position and Be Heard. Taxpayers have the right to raise objections and provide additional documentation in response to formal IRS actions or proposed actions, to expect that the IRS will consider their timely objections and documentation promptly and fairly, and to receive a response if the IRS does not agree with their position.
- The Right to Appeal an IRS Decision in an Independent Forum. Taxpayers are entitled to a fair and impartial administrative appeal of most IRS decisions, including many penalties, and have the right to receive a written response regarding the Office of Appeals’ decision. Taxpayers generally have the right to take their cases to court.
- The Right to Finality. Taxpayers have the right to know the maximum amount of time they have to challenge the IRS’s position as well as the maximum amount of time the IRS has to audit a particular tax year or collect a tax debt. Taxpayers have the right to know when the IRS has finished an audit.
- The Right to Privacy. Taxpayers have the right to expect that any IRS inquiry, examination, or enforcement action will comply with the law and be no more intrusive than necessary, and will respect all due process rights, including search and seizure protections and will provide, where applicable, a collection due process hearing.
- The Right to Confidentiality. Taxpayers have the right to expect that any information they provide to the IRS will not be disclosed unless authorized by the taxpayer or by law. Taxpayers have the right to expect appropriate action will be taken against employees, return preparers, and others who wrongfully use or disclose taxpayer return information.
- The Right to Retain Representation. Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS. Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they cannot afford representation.
- The Right to a Fair and Just Tax System. Taxpayers have the right to expect the tax system to consider facts and circumstances that might affect their underlying liabilities, ability to pay, or ability to provide information timely. Taxpayers have the right to receive assistance from the Taxpayer Advocate Service if they are experiencing financial difficulty or if the IRS has not resolved their tax issues properly and timely through its normal channels.
It’s Accrual World – SHRED It…So They Won’t Get IT
A BIG Thank You to All Who Joined Us for Our Shredding Event!
We were happy to have participants experience peace of mind by having their sensitive, personal documents shredded right in front of them. Our office collaborated with Husker Rehabilitation & Wellness Center, P.C. to have the shredding truck on site at our office
Why Shred Personal Documents?
A common tactic of identity thieves is digging through trash cans. Shred sensitive materials to minimize risk. Before discarding them, cut up expired credit and identification cards, bank and credit card statements you no longer need, charge receipts with your account information, insurance forms, physician bills and the like.
What Materials Should I Shred?
You should shred all sensitive paperwork that includes account numbers, birth dates, passwords, PINs, signatures and Social Security and/or driver’s license numbers. To protect your privacy, consider other items that include names, addresses, phone numbers and email addresses. When in doubt, shred it!
Things You Can Shred
- Stapled Papers
- Junk Mail
- Computer Disks
Things You Can’t
- Binder clips
- Folders with Metal Fasteners
- Hard Drives
An Identity Thieves’ Wish List
Date of Birth
Social Security Number