Working with Jerry has literally taken a load off my back. He explains what you can and cannot do with clarity and makes “year end” a painless concept and not the nightmare we are all expecting to face. Jerry truly listens to our problems and concerns and customizes a product to our needs. He has put us “in control” of our business. You can’t go wrong when Jerry has your back!
Shirley & Jack S., Owner, Apex Grading
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Taxpayers should remember these tips when searching for a tax preparer

income tax preparer

The tax filing season is upon us, and many people will be looking for someone to help them file a tax return. These taxpayers should choose their tax return preparer wisely. 

This is because it’s ultimately the taxpayer who is responsible for all the information on their income tax return. It’s important for people to remember that this is true no matter who prepares the return. Here are some tips for folks to remember when selecting a preparer. Taxpayers should:

Check the Preparer’s Qualifications.

People can use the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This tool helps taxpayers find a tax return preparer with specific qualifications. The directory is a searchable and sortable listing of preparers.

Check the Preparer’s History.

Taxpayers can ask the local Better Business Bureau about the preparer. They should check for disciplinary actions and the license status for credentialed preparers. There are some additional organizations about specific types of preparers:

•Enrolled Agents: Go to the verify enrolled agent status page on IRS.gov.
•Certified Public Accountants: Check with the State Board of Accountancy.
•Attorneys: Check with the State Bar Association.

Ask about Service Fees.

People should avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of the refund or who boast bigger refunds than their competition.

Ask to e-file.

The quickest way for taxpayers to get their refund is to electronically file their federal tax return and choose direct deposit.

Make Sure the Preparer is Available.

Taxpayers may want to contact their preparer after this year’s April 15 due date. People should avoid “fly-by-night” preparers.

Provide Records and Receipts.

Good preparers will ask to see a taxpayer’s records and receipts. They’ll ask questions to figure things like the total income, tax deductions and credits.

Never Sign a Blank Return.

Taxpayers should not use a tax preparer who asks them to sign a blank tax form.

Review Before Signing.

Before signing a tax return, the taxpayer should review it. They should ask questions if something is not clear. Taxpayers should feel comfortable with the accuracy of their return before they sign it. Once they sign the return, taxpayers are accepting responsibility for the information on it.

Review details about any refund.

Taxpayers should make sure that their refund goes directly to them – not to the preparer’s bank account. The taxpayer should review the routing and bank account number on the completed return.

Ensure the Preparer Signs and Includes their PTIN.

All paid tax preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number. By law, paid preparers must sign returns and include their PTIN.

Report Abusive Tax Preparers to the IRS.

Most tax return preparers are honest and provide great service to their clients. However, some preparers are dishonest. People can report abusive tax preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS. Use Form 14157, Complaint: Tax Return Preparer.


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Member of AICPA, Member of CA Society of CPA's, Member of NV Society of CPA's and Member of Certified Fraud Examiners Association


A Professional Corporation
4600 Kietzke Ln, Suite E-148
Reno, NV 89502
Jerry Jones, CPA
The "Tax Planning" CPA
775.828.0767
fax 775.348.9518
jerry@thetaxplanningcpa.com