Five Red Flags When Selecting a CPA or Accountant

CPAs and accountants are one of the most trusted professions, but not all CPAs and accountants provide quality tax preparation services. If there is a mistake on your tax return, your CPA or Accountant is not fully responsible. You ARE! The IRS will charge you the additional taxes, penalties and interest. Not your CPA or Accountant.

Here Are Five Red Flags That May Indicate Your CPA or Accountant Is Not Working for Your Best Interests:

  1. Your accountant said you can automatically take a write off because everyone does it. A good example of this is charitable contributions. My accountant said I can take $250 of charitable contributions even though I did not make any charitable contributions. This is a problem. If your accountant is taking questionable write offs on your return then your accountant may be doing this for all clients. If the IRS investigates the accountant for filing bad returns, then all of the accountant’s clients will be audited. Including YOU!
  2. The CPA does not sign your tax return as a paid preparer. On Page 2 where you sign your tax return, check just below the signature line. Did your CPA sign as a paid preparer? If not, the CPA may be reporting questionable items on your return. All paid preparers must sign the return they prepare.
  3. The CPA does not ask if you like to review the tax return. Your CPA should give you the option to review your tax return prior to signing.
  4. You do not talk to your accountant. You hand over your tax information. Then you are called back in to sign your tax return. You are done. This is good… right? No! Your accountant should ask if anything changed compared to last year. You may have additional deductions to claim.
  5. The CPA charges you based on the size of your expected refund. We have seen clients charged $500 plus to do a very simple return just because the client qualifies for the Earn Income Tax Credit. You should not be charged more just because you are going to get a large refund.

Pick a trusted CPA or accountant to prepare your taxes. If you have any concerns about your current CPA or accountant, then find a new one. There are lot of good CPAs and accountants available to help you with your taxes. If you have any questions about tax preparation, feel free to contact us or read more about the tax preparation services we offer.