Greensboro, NC -- As January draws to a close, W-2's start arriving in people's mailboxes and inboxes.
Many tax filers expecting a return, waste no time filing their information and forms with the IRS, but every year according to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), consumers also file complaints with the BBB about tax preparers.
According to BBB and the IRS, the majority of Americans, 80% of them, use a tax preparer or tax software when filing their returns. The major complaints claim the tax preparer made errors on their forms which resulted in fines and fees.
Consumer advocates with BBB said you are the one held responsible for the accuracy of all information on your tax return no matter who prepares it.
That's why we listed some valuable tips from them below.
- Avoid tax preparers who claim they can get you bigger refunds than others, or larger ones than what you've gotten in previous years.
- Be very careful when choosing a tax preparer. Try to use preparers that others have already used and can vouch for. Remember if someone else prepares your return, you are ultimately responsible for all the information on the tax return.
- Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of the refund.
- Consider whether the individual or firm will be around to answer questions about the preparation of your tax return, months, even years, after the return has been filed.
IRS criminal investigation department reminds you to never sign blank tax forms.
- Before you accept the offer, consider the cost of "instant refunds" or "refund anticipation loans" that may be offered by tax preparers or the sellers of tax preparation software. The IRS will usually direct deposit your tax refund to your bank account within a few days after your return is filed. This can turn your "instant refund" into a very high cost short-term loan.
The IRS Criminal Investigation adds:
- Use a reputable tax professional that signs and enters a preparer tax indentification number (PTIN) on your tax return and provides you with a copy for your records.
WFMY News 2