During tax season, many South Carolina taxpayers will search for help to prepare their tax returns. Here are some tips to consider when picking a tax preparer:
● Check their qualifications. All preparers must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). The IRS’s directory of qualified taxpayers can help you find a preparer.
● Ask about their preparer’s fees. Do not give them your tax documents, SSNs, or other personal info when making this request. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund.
● Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file. The quickest and most accurate way to get your refund is to electronically file and use direct deposit.
● Confirm that your preparer signs your return and will be available after the tax filing deadline. So-called ghost preparers often help taxpayers unwittingly claim deductions and tax credits they aren’t eligible for. But because they didn’t sign the return or leave contact information, they can’t be held responsible when the return is audited.
● Look up tax preparers and read their reviews to make sure there aren’t any red flags. You can check with the Better Business Bureau to make sure the preparer doesn’t have a questionable history.