Better Business Bureau serving West Florida (BBB) offers a directory of qualified tax preparers and accountants, important IRS resources, and tips on how to avoid tax scams for the 2016 tax season.
The IRS accepts federal tax returns electronically from January 19, 2016 until April 18, 2016. If you’re not comfortable preparing your own taxes, be sure to find a qualified professional to assist you.
“Take time to choose a tax return preparer that you trust as this is someone that will have all of your personal information.” Said Karen Nalven, President of Better Business Bureau serving West Florida. “Most tax professionals provide great service, but with so many scams going on, consumers need to be diligent with whom they are dealing.”
BBB tips on how to find a trustworthy tax return preparer:
The IRS says taxpayers will receive their tax refunds quicker by using e-file or Free File, with the direct deposit option. They are also urging all taxpayers to make sure they have all their year-end statements in hand before filing, including Forms W-2 from employers, Forms 1099 from banks and other payers, and Form 1095-A from the Marketplace for those claiming the premium tax credit.
Because Florida was one of the top areas for tax return fraud the IRS is offering the Identity Protection PIN (IP PIN) to all taxpayers who filed their federal tax returns last year as residents of Florida. You do not need to be an identity theft victim to participate. The IP PIN is a 6-digit number they use to confirm your identity when they receive a return with your name and Social Security number on it. This helps prevent identity thieves from obtaining a fraudulent refund using your SSN and avoid delays issuing any refund you may be due.
Florida residents that choose to Get An IP PIN can visit: https://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Get-An-Identity-Protection-PIN
After you get an IP PIN:
For qualified tax preparers and accountants who would like to seek BBB Accreditation please visit: http://www.bbb.org/west-florida/accreditation-application/
# # #
BBB is an unbiased non-profit organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Businesses that earn BBB accreditation contractually agree and adhere to the organization’s high standards of ethical business behavior. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles and BBB Wise Giving Reports®, and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. To further promote trust, BBB also offers complaint and dispute resolution support for consumers and businesses when there is a difference in viewpoints. For more than 100 years, Better Business Bureau has been helping consumers find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2016, people turned to BBB more than 167 million times for BBB Business Reviews on more than 5.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at bbb.org. Better Business Bureau Serving West Florida is one of many local, independent BBBs across North America that provide business reviews on companies within its 11 county service area. These counties include: Hernando, Pasco, Pinellas, Hillsborough, Manatee, Sarasota, Hardee, Desoto, Charlotte, Lee & Collier.