Tax season is here, and the IRS issued a reminder to taxpayers choosing a preparer to do so carefully. According to the IRS, the vast majority of tax return preparers provide honest, quality service; however, there are some who cause damage through fraud, identity theft, and other types of scams. As a result, the IRS shared tips on how to distinguish between the beneficial preparers and the harmful. First, look for credentials. Paid tax return preparers must have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Professional preparers have to remain up to date on tax topics, so taxpayers should look for preparers with proper, up-to-date credentials. Second, do research on the preparer. A reliable preparer is available year-round and has verifiable credentials. It should be easy to find the preparer’s history and publicized clients. Third, understand the preparer’s policies. Taxpayers should avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of their client’s refund. Do not share your personal information with preparers when you are only inquiring about their services and fees. Following these tips will help taxpayers get the dependable help they need. If you want help from a reliable tax return preparer, please contact Lakeesha Browne, CPA. “Tax Time Guide: Select a Tax Return Preparer with Care.” IRS, 25 Feb. 2021, https://www.irs.gov/newsroom/tax-time-guide-select-a-tax-return-preparer-with-care Accessed 4 Mar. 2021.