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Need a tax preparer? The IRS says ‘choose wisely’

According to the IRS, more than half of the 140+ million tax returns filed last year were prepared by a paid preparer. Even if you always filed your own return in the past, you may feel you need some assistance this year due to the Affordable Care Act reporting requirements.

(The IRS tells us that properly-insured taxpayers will simply need to check a box, but those with tax credits/refunds, exemptions, or penalties will find the process more challenging.)

If you do hire a preparer, here are some important guidelines:

  • You must provide a tax preparer with sensitive information about yourself and your family – be sure the preparer you select is ethical.
  • Your paid preparer must sign your return and enter his/her Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN).
  • Remember that you are ultimately responsible for your return, no matter who prepares it. Review it carefully and get any questions answered before signing.
  • Never, never sign a blank return – you run the risk of becoming a victim of fraud.

The IRS offers information about the different levels of preparer qualifications at  Look for a preparer who not only makes you feel comfortable but also one who’s able to provide the support you need if you’re audited.

The CPAs at Patrick & Robinson offer you decades of experience and insights. If you’re in the North Florida area, contact us for an appointment to interview one of them. We’d love the opportunity to serve you!

Reach us at or 904-396-5400.

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