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Shop around for tax preparation services

Shop around for tax preparation services

By Karen Stiles. CREATED Jan 14, 2012

MILWAUKEE - This is the time of year when we begin to receive complaints from people who are not satisfied with the service they used to file their taxes.

The complaints include errors, unfair sales practices, expensive fees, and delays in receiving refunds.

Before you pay a fee, release your personal information or agree to have your return filed,

• Check out the reputation of the tax preparer with consumer agencies and online postings to see if there are any unresolved complaints.

• Ask questions like how long they have been in business in your area, the type of training they receive, if they offer year round assistance, and how they will assist if your are subject to an audit or notified of a problem with your return.

• Shop around. You might find that the fee charged for these services varies greatly from one tax preparer to another.

• Before you sign any documents, apply for loans, or agree to have your return prepared, ask questions and read the terms and conditions of using these services.

If you cannot get your questions answered or receive vague information, do not proceed.

Keep shopping around.

Keep in mind, you are ultimately responsible when you sign your return.

Make sure that you are getting the most accurate and best service at the right price.