Tax season: Picking the right tax preparer

8:16 AM, Mar 1, 2013   |    comments
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By Dana Dean

ST. LOUIS (KSDK) - We're now 46 days away from tax day, and we have important information if you're planning to hire someone to fill out your return.

There have been a lot of rumblings about who can file taxes on your behalf and it actually ended up in federal court this year.

The way it's always been, is that you can use anybody. Like Fred here, he's good with numbers, and charges a lot less than a CPA, for example, so you might go to him.

However, the IRS wanted to regulate people like Fred, by making them take a test to prove he was competent to do your taxes. This year, a judge ruled against the IRS. So, as it stands, you still can use Fred, or anyone you choose.

But with no regulation, that means you have to be careful you pick the right person. The Better Business Bureau has some advice.

Ask for referrals from friends and check out before you hire anyone. Check credentials, like are they a certified public accountant, a tax lawyer, or enrolled agent?

Check accessibility. Will he or she be available after tax season is over?

Check your return for mistakes before you sign it.

If you're not doing taxes yourself, the bottom line is be careful who you use.

Be sure to check out our Tax Help section. It has all of the information you need for federal, Missouri, and Illinois taxes.


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