Is Your Tax Man Cutting it? Ways to Tell if You're Getting Your Money's Worth from a Tax Professional

Getting Burned: You're not a CEO, an Oil Tycoon, and you're not hiding money in off-shore accounts. This doesn't mean your taxes aren't complicated, and it certainly doesn't mean you can't hire a professional to handle your taxes for you. But before you start your search, make sure you know how to steer clear of tax preparers that our just out to take your money and run!

Red Flags

Run the other direction if your Tax Professional/Preparer is guilty of the following:

- Guarantees a refund, Guarantees Debt can be Settled for "Pennies on the Dollar"
- Refuses to answer questions
- Has less than an A rating with the Better Business Bureau
- Acts shifty in general

Questions to Ask

According to the National Society of Accountant's, you need to ask your Tax Preparer the following questions:

- What credentials do you have?
- How long have you been in practice?
- How do you keep current on law changes?
- Have you dealt with tax situations like mine?
- Are you the person who will do my return?
- What organizations do you belong to and do they have a code of ethics?

Don't forget to ask about their experience (looking for 10+ years), licenses, and certifications.

Deadline: The April 15th Deadline is only 22 days away! If you haven't gotten started yet, working with a Tax Professional is a wise choice. But remember, even if your tax preparer is at fault for an error, you'll get the blame as well. Only work with an honest, ethical company or individual.