Tips from the Connecticut Better Business Bureau on hiring a tax preparer:
Check the preparer’s qualifications – All paid tax preparers are required to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number or PTIN. Paid preparers must sign returns and include their PTIN as required by law. Ask preparers if they belong to a professional organization and attend continuing education classes.
Ask about service fees – Request an estimate of the cost of preparation and whether any additional fees may apply.
Request eFile and direct deposit – Make sure your preparer offers IRS e-file and that any refund due is sent to you or deposited into your bank account. Do not allow a refund to be deposited into a preparer’s bank account.
Check availability – Make sure you’ll be able to contact the tax preparer after you file your return – even after the April 15 due date. This may be helpful in the event questions come up about your tax return.
Verify your return before signing – Before you sign your tax return, review it and ask questions if something is not clear. Make sure you’re comfortable with the accuracy of the return before you sign it.
Steer clear of any tax preparer who promises you an inflated refund, or charges fees based on the size of your refund, and ensure that all documents are enclosed
You can report abusive tax preparers and suspected tax fraud to the IRS or by calling 800-TAX-FORM (800-829-3676).