If you pay someone to prepare your tax return, choose that preparer
carefully. A person who prepares tax returns for others should have a
good understanding of all tax matters. You may want to check with
friends, co-workers, or your employer for help in selecting a
There are some other things to look for when choosing a tax preparer.
Beware of anyone who guarantees a refund before getting financial
information from you or who claims to have a special relationship
with the IRS. Also, you should choose a preparer whom you can contact
later in case your return is examined by IRS and you have questions
concerning how your return was prepared.
A paid preparer is required by law to sign the return and fill in the
area of the form provided for preparers. Although the preparer signs
the return, you are the person responsible for the accuracy of every
item entered on your return.
You should review the completed return before you sign it to be sure
that the tax information, your name, address, and social security
number are correct. In addition, the preparer must give you a copy of
the return. Never sign a blank return, and never sign in pencil!
Someone who prepares your return but does not charge you, should not
sign your return.
If you have provided specific authorization in a Power of Attorney
filed with IRS, you may have copies of notices or your refund check
mailed to your preparer or representative, but only you can sign and
cash your refund check. Further information on Power of Attorney is
contained in Topic 310.
Remember, even if your return is prepared by someone else, you are
the person who signs it and you are responsible for all the
information on your return.
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