Finding a tax preparer
You should always know whats going on with your tax return. Be cautious and fire your tax preparer if:
They base their fee off your return
They don't give you copies of your return and your documentation back
They don't have a valid PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number); they're given by the IRS and yes, they do expire!
They refuse to give direct answers to your questions. If it doesn't look right, ask questions.
Remember, the tax preparer works for you and it's YOUR money. Require these of your preparer:
Transparency and a full understanding of your return.
The ability to review your return BEFORE it is filed.
An active PTIN
A full understanding of the fee you'll pay for your taxes. Percentage-based fees are typically only charged for amended returns.
Sad but all too possible situation of a preparer not being transparent and using client returns to file fraudulent returns. Original article here.