TULSA - Tax experts say it's important to remember that you are responsible for everything on your tax return, even if you pay someone else to prepare it for you.
The Oklahoma Society of CPAs has this advice when choosing a tax preparer.
1. Ask what "preparer" means.
Anyone can use the title "tax preparer," so find out what kind of training and experience the person has.
2. Find out if that experience lines up with your situation.
For example, if you're self employed, does the preparer have expertise in that area.
3. Ask questions about fees up front.
The bill will depend on the complexity of your return and other factors.
4. Avoid preparers whose fee is based on a percentage of your refund, or on how much they save you.
A more experienced preparer may cost a little more, but usually they may be able to give financial advice that could pay off.
5. Find out if the preparer can represent you before the IRS in case you're audited.
6. And be sure to review your return once it's done.
If you see anything that you think may be incorrect or just doesn't make sense, have your preparer explain it.
And once you've filed your return, experts say use it to make some important financial decisions.
Did you pay too much in taxes? Are you taking the right steps for retirement, a child's college education or other long-term goals?
CPA's say the information on your tax return can help you answer those questions.
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