What to look for in a Tax preparer

Many taxpayers take help of paid tax preparers who guide them through the income tax filing process. It is very important that we as individuals take appropriate care in choosing the person we authorize him on our behalf to prepare and file our tax return. Most of the tax preparers are known to do a good job for their clients but still we need to take care of few important things when we hire them. Some of these important points are listed as under:

  1. We must check the educational qualification of the paid preparer before hiring him/her. If the preparer is affiliated to a professional organization we can check for his reference with them.
  2. In compliance to the latest provisions of the IRS a paid prepare should be registered with IRS and must have Preparer Tax Identification Number (TPIN) which is generated after 28th September 2010.
  3. We should also check with few of the prepares past clients, if they were satisfied with his job. It will give us a good idea on what to expect from him/her.
  4. Find out about the charges you will have to pay for his services. These charges should be reasonable.
  5. Make sure the tax preparer you hire is approachable. As the deadline of filing returns nears more and more people look for prepares and they often than not are in shortage on account of increased demand. At the movement you should ensure that your preparer remains approachable for you in case you need some last minute help from him/her.

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How to get various IRS forms and publications

By now we all would be well aware that IRS no longer mails us the tax package. Due to developments in electronic media many useful services are offered by IRS using this medium. Good thing for taxpayers is that they can avail useful services of this media for free of cost.

Following the ways in which one can get access to the various IRS forms and other publications:

  1. Through internet: Taxpayers and other interested people can get hold of various IRS forms through their official website which can be accessed 24 X 7 from anywhere in the world.
  2. Assistance Centres operated by IRS: IRS operates some 401 Tax assistance centres throughout the country where one can walk and get any information related to their income tax. While your visit to anyone these centres you can also pick up copies of required forms or related IRS publication.
  3. Locations nearby your community: IRS has also accesses to many convenient locations for you such as your nearby library, post office, large grocery stores, stationary marts etc. You can also find related publications and forms available with them during the tax season.
  4. My Post – You can also order any of the forms and publication delivered to you through US postal service.  The number to call to place the order is 1-800-TAX-FORM (1-800-829-3676). IRS officials would be glad to help you regarding your requirement of forms or publications.

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New Registration for Paid Tax Return Preparers

It is the duty of Internal Revenue Service (IRS) department to ensure that tax return preparers who offer their services to number of taxpayers for a charge are competent to do so. Often people require help in preparing and filing their annual tax returns and take help of the paid tax return preparers. To control and streamline such tax preparers IRS has launched a new scheme for registering these preparers and issuing them a Preparer Tax Identification Number (TPIN).

Starting 28th September 2010 all the tax return prepares must register them under this new scheme and obtain their TPINs. Registration concerning this can be done online by the tax return preparers. Registration forms are available through IRS’s official website and can also be submitted online. Preparers who currently possess TPIN will also require reapplying for renewal of their existing TPINs under this new scheme.

Registration charges of $ 64.25 will have to be paid by the individuals registering under this new scheme. Out of this $64.25, $50.00 will be received by IRS towards registering the tax return preparers and balance $14.25 will be paid to the company operating and maintaining this online system. The new TPINs will be valid for one year and would require annual renewal henceforth.

A registering tax return preparer will immediately receive his/her TPIN upon completion of the online registration process. Paper application to register for TPIN can be done using form W-12. The manual application will be processed within 4 to 6 six of their receipt by IRS.

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