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Post Date:  12/23/2014
Last Updated:  12/23/2014

Summary
IR-2014-116, Dec. 18, 2014

WASHINGTON — With the filing season approaching, the Internal Revenue Service joined with national tax organizations to provide people with new options to get information and tips on selecting tax professionals and avoiding unscrupulous preparers.

The effort includes new information available at IRS.gov/chooseataxpro, including a list of consumer tips for selecting a tax professional. There will also be a new gateway page with links to national non-profit tax professional groups, which can help provide additional information for taxpayers seeking the right type of qualified help.

"The tax return represents one of the biggest financial transactions of the year for many Americans, whether they are getting a refund or paying a tax bill," IRS Commissioner John Koskinen said. "Filling out tax returns accurately is critically important. Between tax law changes and tax scams circulating, it’s more important than ever for people who need professional assistance to select wisely and carefully."

Koskinen was joined at a Washington press conference Thursday with members of several national tax professional organizations that represent hundreds of thousands of tax professionals across the nation.

More than 140 million tax returns were filed last year, and more than half of with them were prepared with the help of a paid return preparer.

For the upcoming filing season, some taxpayers may want to get help with the new provisions of the Affordable Care Act, and tax professionals provide one of several options available. The vast majority of people will only have to check a box on their federal income tax return to indicate they had health coverage, but others have Marketplace coverage with tax credits, have exemptions or need them, or may have to make a payment because they could afford to buy health insurance but chose not to. Tax professionals will be able to help guide taxpayers through what they need to do in these circumstances. Commercial software programs will be able to help, too.

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