Tax FAQ

Most Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of our most commonly asked questions regarding taxes and tax preparation. Of course, you may have a question that is not ansewred here. In that case, please give us a call at 985-370-4777 and one of our friendly ITL team members will be happy to assist you. You can also submit a question to our staff via email or our general contact form.

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What should I look for when choosing a tax preparer?

If you are paying someone to prepare your tax return, the IRS urges you to choose your preparer wisely. Taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their tax return even if it is prepared by someone else. So, it is important to choose carefully when hiring an individual or firm to prepare your return. Most return preparers are professional, honest and provide excellent service to their clients.

Here are a few points to keep in mind when someone else prepares your return:

  • Check the person's qualifications. Ask if the preparer is affiliated with a professional organization that provides its members with continuing education and resources and holds them to a code of ethics. New regulations effective in 2011 require all paid tax return preparers including attorneys, CPAs and Enrolled Agents (EA) to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number.
  • Check the preparer's history. Check to see if the preparer has a questionable history with the Better Business Bureau and check for any disciplinary actions and licensure status through the state boards of accountancy for certified public accountants; the state bar associations for attorneys; and the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility for Enrolled Agents (EA).
  • Find out about their service fees. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund or those who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.
  • Make sure the tax preparer is accessible. Make sure you will be able to contact the tax preparer after the return has been filed, even after the April due date, in case questions arise.
  • Provide all records and receipts needed to prepare your return. Most reputable preparers will request to see your records and receipts and will ask you multiple questions to determine your total income and your qualifications for expenses, deductions and other items.
  • Never sign a blank return. Avoid tax preparers that ask you to sign a blank tax form.
  • Review the entire return before signing it. Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions. Make sure you understand everything and are comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it.
  • Make sure the preparer signs the form and includes their PTIN. A paid preparer must sign the return and include their PTIN as required by law. Although the preparer signs the return, you are responsible for the accuracy of every item on your return. The preparer must also give you a copy of the return.
What do I need to bring to a tax return preparation appointment?
Is the organization of my receipts really important?
Do I need to keep all of my receipts that have already been turned in for a tax return? Why?
How detailed does my mileage log need to be?
Is there any limitation or time frame for the IRS to collect on assessed tax?
How do I classify my worker? Should they be classified as an employee or independent contractor?
I am filing an extension this year, so I don't need to pay anything yet...right?

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