TULSA - The Better Business Bureau urges consumers to be cautious of tax preparers who claim they can get larger refunds than other preparers.
The BBB cites IRS investigators, who say some preparers may use your personal information to file falsified returns, and may keep most of the fraudulent refund for themselves, while leaving you on the hook, in trouble with the IRS.
The Better Business Bureau recommends you avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund.
Use a reputable tax professional who signs the tax return and provides you a copy.
Consider whether the individual for firm will be around to answer questions about the tax return months, or even years, after the return has been filed.
Check the preparer's credentials.
The BBB suggests your tax preparer be CPA, attorney or enrolled agent, even though that may cost a little more.
Also, find out if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that provides its members with continuing educational resources and holds them to a code of ethics.
And if your preparer says he or she is an enrolled agent, there are ways to verify it.
You can find that information at this IRS website, http://www.irs.gov/taxpros/agents/article/0,,id=100710,00.html
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