An astonishing 80 million Americans pay a tax preparer each year, according to an estimate from Accounting Web.
But the current tax preparation landscape is something like the wild, wild West. Although the IRS began to register preparers several years ago and had plans to implement competency testing and continuing education requirements, a 2014 court case ruled the agency didn’t have the legal authority to do so. That means virtually anyone can use the label of “tax preparer” and set up business, regardless of whether they have any training in tax laws.
To help you avoid being taken for a ride by an inexperienced or incompetent tax preparer, you need to do a little legwork. The good news is that you may be able to get better service for free, or even do it yourself. To learn how, watch the following video, then read on.