December 14, 2021
As taxpayers get ready to file their 2022 tax return, they may be considering hiring a tax return preparer. The IRS reminds taxpayers to choose a tax return preparer wisely. This is important because taxpayers are responsible for all the information on their return, no matter who prepares it for them.
There are different kinds of tax preparers, and a taxpayer’s needs will help determine which kind of preparer is best for them. With that in mind, here are some quick tips to help people choose a preparer.
When choosing a tax professional, taxpayers should:
- Check the IRS Directory of Preparers. While it is not a complete listing of tax return preparers, it does include those who are enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys, as well as those who participate in the Annual Filing Season Program.
- Check the preparer’s history with the Better Business Bureau. Taxpayers can verify an enrolled agent’s status on IRS.gov.
- Ask about fees. Taxpayers should avoid tax return preparers who base their fees on a percentage of the refund or who offer to deposit all or part of their refund into their financial accounts.
- Be wary of tax return preparers who claim they can get larger refunds than others.
- Ask if they plan to use e-file.
- Make sure the preparer is available. People should consider whether the individual or firm will be around for months or years after filing the return. Taxpayers should do this because they might need the preparer to answer questions about the preparation of the tax return.
- Ensure the preparer signs and includes their preparer tax identification number. Paid tax return preparers must have a PTIN to prepare tax returns.
- Check the person’s credentials. Only attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS in tax matters. Other tax return preparers who participate in the IRS Annual Filing Season Program have limited practice rights to represent taxpayers during audits of returns they prepared.
November 27, 2021
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. This is one of the fundamental rights of all taxpayers as outlined in the Taxpayer Bill of Rights.
Here’s what the right to retain representation means to taxpayers:
• Taxpayers have the right to retain an authorized representative of their choice to represent them in their dealings with the IRS.
• Taxpayers who are heading to an interview with the IRS may select someone to represent them.
• Taxpayers who retain representation don’t have to attend with their representative unless the IRS formally summons them to appear.
• In most situations, the IRS must suspend an interview if the taxpayer requests to consult with a representative, such as an attorney, certified public accountant or enrolled agent.
• Any attorney, CPA, enrolled agent, enrolled actuary or other person permitted to represent a taxpayer before the IRS, who’s not disbarred or suspended from practice before the IRS, may submit a written power of attorney to represent a taxpayer before the IRS.
• Taxpayers have the right to seek assistance from a Low Income Taxpayer Clinic if they can’t afford representation. They can find a LITC near them by visiting the Low Income Taxpayer Clinics page on IRS.gov or by calling the IRS toll-free at 800-829-3676.
Low Income Taxpayer Clinics are independent from the IRS and the Taxpayer Advocate Service. These clinics may charge a small fee to represent individuals whose income is below a certain level and who need to resolve tax problems with the IRS. LITCs can represent taxpayers in audits, appeals and tax collection disputes before the IRS and in court. In addition, LITCs can provide information about taxpayer rights and responsibilities in different languages for individuals who speak English as a second language.
Should you find yourself in need of representation in a tax matter before the IRS, please give Tax On Wheels, LLC a call 803 732-4288. We offer a free initial consultation to assess your needs. We will offer you a recommendation on your next step, whether that be hiring us or an attorney or doing things yourself. Remember, if you are engaged in illegal activity such as tax evasion, you will need to contact an attorney first. Your attorney can then hire Tax On Wheels, LLC for support with tax matters using a Kovel letter which will allow us to maintain attorney client privilege.
Publication 1, Your Rights as a Taxpayer
Publication 4134, Low Income Taxpayer Clinic List
Taxpayer Advocate Service