Many people find themselves overwhelmed at the thought of doing their taxes, especially those who have a more complex return. That’s why so many people turn to professional tax preparers to help them deal with the stress of filing their taxes— and to help then get a better return.

But finding an excellent and reputable tax preparer is not always easy. While some states have regulations about who can work as a tax preparer, there are no federal standards in place. So, how do you find someone you’re sure is qualified?

Check Their Credentials

Before you choose someone to do your taxes, you should check their credentials. At a bare minimum, your tax preparer should have a preparer tax identification number, which is an official identifier issued by the IRS.

Beyond that, it’s also good to look for preparers with professional credentials, like public accountants, tax lawyers, and tax specialists. In addition to finding someone with professional credentials, finding a tax preparer who receives ongoing education about changing tax laws is a good idea. For example, the IRS offers an annual filing program that tax preparers can take.

Watch For Warning Signs

There are some red flags to watch out for when choosing a tax preparer. One warning sign is when a tax preparer says they’ll charge you a fee based on your refund percentage. You should also watch out for preparers who suggest you should claim false deductions or who refuse to sign your tax return.

Another major warning sign is when a tax preparer refuses to answer questions about their qualifications. It’s normal and, in fact, advised for you to ask a tax preparer about their qualifications, training, and experience, and to ask for references. If a tax preparer refuses to answer these questions, that’s a major sign that they are not qualified enough to prepare your return.

Choose Carefully

Don’t rush into choosing just any tax preparer. Taking that little bit of extra time to find a qualified preparer can make a big difference on the accuracy of your return, which is hugely important for staying out of trouble with the IRS.

Every tax preparer at Vanguard Tax Relief is a trained and qualified tax professional who keeps up with each change in tax law. At Vanguard, we handle every taxpayer’s return with the utmost care, paying attention to detail and each taxpayer’s unique circumstances to get them their best possible tax return. If you’d like to get your best return this tax season, contact us today to get a free consultation. And if you have any questions about our tax preparer’s certifications, we’d love to answer them so you can feel secure knowing your return is being handled by an expert.