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Navigating the Tax Maze: Don’t Let Bad Apples Ruin Your Financial Harvest
Hello, fellow navigators of the tax maze! October 16, 2023, is fast approaching, marking the extension filing deadline. If you’re like many, you might be scurrying around searching for that perfect tax preparer. But beware, while most preparers are gems, guiding us through the tax jungle, there are a few sneaky snakes lurking in the grass!
Seeking Your Tax Guru: Steps to Safeguard Your Returns
- Spot the Red Flags: If your preparer doesn’t sign the return or misses out on their PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number), it’s a glaring warning! Don’t fall for the siren song of a ‘gigantic refund’ or fees based on your refund size.
- Year-Round Availability: Choose a preparer who doesn’t hibernate post-tax season. You want someone available to answer any curveballs the IRS might throw your way.
- Dig Up Their Past: A little detective work can go a long way. Scour the Better Business Bureau, the State Board of Accountancy’s website, the State Bar Association, and the IRS Directory to ensure your preparer’s past isn’t shady.
- Tech-Savvy Preparers: Ensure your preparer is in the 21st century with IRS e-file. Why? You could have your refund in less than 21 days if you file electronically.
- Credentials Check: Like checking a chef’s reviews before dining, make sure your tax preparer has the credentials. Attorneys, CPAs, and enrolled agents are your A-team when representing you before the IRS.
- Use a Certified Tax Planner: Certified Tax Planners have additional qualifications and education than the average CPA or EA. A qualified CTP is essential for small business owners.
Navigating with Your Chosen Captain
So, you’ve chosen your guide. Great! But the journey isn’t over. Stay alert and ensure:
- They ask for all the necessary documents. No shortcuts like e-filing with pay stubs!
- You understand everything. Your return isn’t a treasure map; it should be clear and comprehensible.
- Your gold goes to you! Refunds should directly sail into your account, not the preparer’s coffers.
- You’re the captain. Never let anyone persuade you to sign a blank or foggy return.
Caught a Bad Apple? Toss It!
If you suspect your chosen tax guide isn’t on the straight and narrow, don’t hesitate! Flag them using the IRS Form 14157. And if you think they went rogue with your return, Form 14157-A is your ally.
In the grand tax voyage, being prepared and cautious ensures you reach the treasure without falling into pitfalls. Happy filing!
Planning ahead with tax saving benefits in mind prepares you for the retirement that you want. We will share with you other ways to save tons on your taxes with our DeTax University program. When you combine our different strategies you are guaranteed to save over $10,000 a year on taxes.