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Is your tax preparer qualified? - 1/20/2022

Updated: Jul 29, 2022

I assume, if you are not preparing your tax return yourself, you are seeking out a professional to prepare your tax return for you. Via an advertisement or a reference from friends, you have connected with someone who seems nice and capable; on paper they have met the requirements to prepare tax returns. That is a great start, but it is only a start.

Maybe your tax return is something fairly straight-forward; you have W-2(s) income, some interest and dividends, and not much else. For a return of this type, theoretically any credentialed tax preparer (acceptable to the IRS, no matter by which method) should be able to accurately prepare your return.

In the best of times, a basic tax return is fairly basic. In the current year, with economic impact (stimulus) payments and the possible advance payment for the child tax credit, even a basic return may be more complex.

Maybe your tax return has some more specific issues to consider:

-Are you self-employed?

-Do you own rental properties?

-Do you have crypto-currency or foreign investments?

-Do you work in multiple cities or states?

-Did you move to a new state?

These are just a few of the most common situations that might make your tax return more complex. Just because your tax preparer has met the minimum required credentials does not mean that they have the knowledge or experience for more complex tax return preparation. Ask how much experience they have with your situation, especially the forms and returns you need to file.

At the end of the day, you sign the return and accept responsibility for the quality of your tax return. Make sure your preparer is someone you can trust.

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