Tax preparers that file tax returns for compensation must obtain PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number). Anyone with a PTIN number can prepare tax returns for compensation. If you need someone to file your federal income tax return for you, it’s normal to have trust issues. If you’re unsure whether or not a tax preparer you met is able to prepare and file your tax return on your behalf, you can use The Department of Treasury’s verification system.
Take note that tax preparers are required to renew their PTIN every calendar year.
What do I need to verify a PTIN number?
First and foremost, you need the PTIN number of the paid tax preparer. If you don’t have the tax preparer’s PTIN number, you can still use the system as it asks for your location rather than the PTIN number of a specific tax preparer. To verify a tax preparer and their relevant experience, education, and expertise, you will need the following.
- Country of the Tax Preparer
- ZIP code
- Distance from the ZIP code
- Last name (optional to refine the search results)
Once you enter these, you will see whether or not the tax preparer is registered, their credentials, and their address.
Start using the Preparer Directory to verify PTIN numbers.
Can I trust tax preparers to file my tax return?
The Internal Revenue Service knows very well that some of the tax provisions are quite complex for the average Joe. Because of this, taxpayers may need assistance from people like CPAs. If you’re in need of help to file your federal income tax return, tax preparers can provide you with everything you need.
The government has put up a system for tax preparers to ensure the safety of taxpayers to prevent fraudulent activities. That’s why every tax preparer in and outside of the United States is required to obtain a PTIN number. Without a PTIN number, nobody can submit a tax return to the Internal Revenue Service on behalf of someone else. We highly recommend staying away from a “tax preparer” that claims to file tax returns for compensation.
What to look for in a good tax preparer
Finding a good and reliable tax preparer can turn into a challenge if you don’t know what to look for in a good one. That’s why we value references above anything else. Rather than looking for their credentials, take a look at what they’ve accomplished so far in their career. One of the best ways to do this is by contacting the companies and individuals they’re working with. If they’re satisfied, there is a good chance that you’ll be satisfied. In the world of finance, there are so many that don’t know what they’re doing, and tax preparers make a large chunk of it. Being a tax preparer is easy at first but gets complicated when you’re in need of certain things that fall outside what a typical taxpayer needs.
For these reasons alone, it’s important to pick the right tax preparer.