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CPAs and Consultants

Client Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers

You are entitled to ask the individual tax preparer assisting or advising you on your tax returns or related matters what his or her qualifications are and he or she is required, upon request, to produce documentation to verify such qualifications.
You are entitled to know how fees and charges are computed, including minimum charges and any additional charges. You must be given a receipt which states the charges for each tax return.  The receipt must list the address and phone number at which the tax preparer may be contacted during the year.
You are entitled to know whether the tax preparer will represent you at a government audit.  Failure to make this disclosure means that the tax preparer agrees to represent the taxpayer or to provide representation at an agreed upon fee.
You are entitled to receive all personal papers you provided to the tax preparer upon request when the original tax return is given to you for filing, unless the tax preparer is specifically permitted to retain such papers under state or federal law.
You are entitled to know that any tax preparer who advertises the availability of a program by which a taxpayer may receive a loan against the taxpayer’s anticipated refund may not directly or indirectly represent such loan as a refund.  Any advertisement for tax preparation services which mentions such a loan program must state conspicuously that a fee or interest will be charged by the lending institution for any loan, and must disclose the name of the lending institution.
You are entitled to receive a copy of every tax return that the tax preparer prepares on your behalf at the time the original tax return is given to the taxpayer for filing. In the case of tax returns that are filed electronically there will be no original tax return.
You are entitled to have the tax preparer sign every tax return that he prepares on your behalf.  In the case of tax returns that are filed electronically the signature may be electronic.
You are entitled to know whether or not the tax preparer is a licensed accountant or attorney in New York State.

As The Taxpayer You Should:

Never sign an incomplete tax return or one that is filled out in pencil.
Never send cash to the government for payment of your taxes.
Always use a check or money order to pay your taxes.
Never allow your refund to be mailed to the tax preparer.  Keep a record of your tax preparer’s year-round address and phone number.
Review your complete tax return for accuracy before it is mailed and keep a copy in your files.  Make a list of the originals you have given your tax preparer and have the tax preparer sign it.   

Retain copies of your income tax return and supporting documentation for a period of seven years.