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How To Choose A Tax Preparer

17 Jan

If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, you should choose wisely.
You as a taxpayer are legally responsible for what’s on your tax return even if it is prepared by someone else. So, it is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return.

  • Check the preparer’s history. Check for any disciplinary actions and licensure status through the state boards of accountancy for certified public accountants; the state bar associations for attorneys; and the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility for enrolled agents.
  • Check their service fees. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or those who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.
  • Make sure the tax preparer is accessible. Make sure you will be able to contact the tax preparer after the return has been filed, even after the April due date, in case questions arise.
  • Watch for red flags. Some red flags include not asking to see your records and receipts, not asking multiple questions, a request to sign a blank tax form
  • Never sign a blank return. Avoid tax preparers that ask you to sign a blank tax form.
  • Review the entire return before signing it. Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions. Make sure you understand everything and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it.
  • Check the person’s qualifications. Ask if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that provides its members with continuing education and resources and holds them to a code of ethics. All paid tax return preparers are required to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number
  • Make sure the preparer signs the form and includes their PTIN. Even though the preparer signs the return, you are responsible for the accuracy of every item on your return. The preparer must also give you a copy of the return.

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E-file Your Tax Return

16 Jan

In my last video I talked about using VITA service to file your taxes for free. If you don’t qualify for Vita program and your income is $57,000 or less, you can take advantage of free tax preparation software and free e-filing.

It’s available only through IRS website. You can choose from 15 different companies offering free tax software including TurboTax or H&R Block. Most of these companies also prepare free state tax returns.

The free software is available starting this Tuesday so you can file your tax return as early as tomorrow.
If you made over $57,000 and are comfortable preparing your tax return you can use online forms and take advantage of secure and free e-filing.

Why should you e-file?

Here are some reasons:

  • Accuracy – using tax software can significantly reduce errors and the chance of getting a notice from the IRS. If there is a mistake on your return, the IRS can detect it and notify you in as few as 48 hours so that you can quickly fix the problem.
  • Security – e-file is the highly secure way to transmit your federal tax return to the IRS. It uses the latest encryption standards to safely and securely protect your personal data.
  •  Faster preparation – you can prepare your tax return much faster using a computer; also you don’t have to go to the post office to mail your return.
  • Fast Refunds – You get your refund in half the time, even faster with Direct Deposit. It can take as few as 8-15 days to have your refund deposited directly to your account.
  • Proof of Acceptance – You receive an electronic confirmation within 48 hours that the IRS has accepted your return for processing

Electronic filing is a fast, convenient, and accurate way to file your taxes so take advantage of this free service and enjoy your refund quicker.

For more information visit:

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15 Jan

Tax season is just around the corner and many of you wonder where to file your taxes.

You may qualify for the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) or the Tax Counseling for the Elderly (TCE) Programs. Both programs offer free tax help. Trained volunteers will help you with your tax returns, in addition most sites offer free e-filing. If you take advantage of the e-file program you will receive your refunds in half the time compared to returns filed on paper – even faster when tax refunds are deposited directly into your bank account.

Who qualifies for the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program?

The VITA Program offers free tax help to people with low to moderate-income (generally, $50,000 and below).

The TCE Program provides free tax help to people aged 60 and older.

Items to bring to the VITA/TCE site to have your tax return prepared:
•    Proof of identification
•    Social Security Cards for you, your spouse and dependents
•    Birth dates for you, your spouse and dependents on the tax return
•    Wage and earning statement(s) Form W-2, W-2G, 1099-R, from all employers
•    Interest and dividend statements from banks (Forms 1099)
•    Proof of bank account routing numbers and account numbers for Direct Deposit, such as a blank check

If you file taxes electronically on a married-filing-joint tax return, both spouses must be present to sign the required form.

To locate the nearest VITA site, call 1-800-906-9887.

If you leave in Reno area you can visit Community Services Agency website  where you can see their schedule.

Call 786-6023 to schedule an appointment for tax preparation.

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