The Importance of Choosing the Right Tax Preparer

2/1/2017 | Written by: Charla Suaste

This time of year, every year, a variety of tax scams abound. And one of the most frequent scams we see during tax season is that of the crooked tax preparer. While most tax professionals are nothing less than honest and ethical, there are still the select few who show up right around this time every year with the intention of doing harm. In order to help prevent you from being duped by one of these unscrupulous individuals, here are a few red flags to be looking out for while having your tax return prepared this April:

  • You’re receiving a seemingly high tax refund.
    If the refund amount you’re receiving seems too good to be true, make the assumption that it probably is. Unscrupulous tax preparers have a habit of enticing taxpayers to claim deductions or credits that they are not eligible to take. Such behavior may draw more customers (and therefore, more income) to the tax preparer during tax season, but it can cause significant harm to the taxpayer in the long run.
  • You’re asked to sign a blank tax return.
    A tax return is a legal document. Make sure to take the same precautions you would with any other legal document before signing off on your tax return. While it may be time-consuming to review every line on your tax return, every taxpayer is responsible for the information documented on their return – regardless of who prepared it.
  • The tax preparer does not ask for any documentation.
    All items claimed on your tax return should be back up with legitimate documentation. If your return preparer is simply plugging numbers in without referencing your support documents, that’s a sure sign that you should probably take your business elsewhere.

Of course, those are just a few red flags to look out for when searching for a trustworthy tax preparer! For additional information on how to ensure your tax professional is the best in the business, please visit