Avoid tax preparer fraud: Pick a qualified preparer

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When filing your taxes, the person who is named on the return is responsible for what's being filed – not the preparer. If your preparer commits fraud, the tax payer is responsible.

For that reason, take care when selecting a person to do your taxes.

Follow these tips from the IRS to select a qualified preparer:

-          Avoid preparers who claim they can get you a larger refund than someone else.

-          Avoid preparers who base their fee on the percentage of your refund.

-          Choose a professional who signs your tax return and gives you a copy for your records.

-          Choose a preparer or a firm who will be around potentially years down the road to answer questions about your tax return – especially if you get audited.

-          Make sure you review your return before you sign it.

-          If you have any questions about your return make sure you ask before you sign your return.

-          Never sign a blank tax form.

-          Check the preparer's credentials. They should be an attorney, CPA or an enrolled agent. Only people with these credentials can represent taxpayers for audits, collections and appeals.

-          Make sure the preparer is educated on the most current tax laws.

-          Get a recommendation from a friend. Make sure someone else has used the preparer and had a good experience.