If you decide to use a professional tax preparer, make sure you make a smart selection. Get recommendations from friends, family, neighbors, and coworkers. Make sure you use an enrolled agent, certified public accountant, or tax attorney. They are the only ones allowed to represent you in IRS matters such as audits, collection actions, and appeals. Other preparers can only represent you in audits of returns for which they signed off on as the preparer. Check the local Better Business Bureau to make sure there are no complaints against the individual or company you plan to use. Finally, compare service fees, and avoid using companies that charge fees as a percentage of the refund amount.
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|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|