(Article repost from www.cpapracticeadvisor.com)

With the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, the most sweeping tax reform legislation in more than 30 years now in effect, some taxpayers may choose to have a paid professional prepare their tax returns this year even if they’ve done it themselves in years past.

The IRS is reminding Americans to be careful when selecting a tax professional. Though most tax professionals provide honest, high-quality service, a minority of dishonest preparers operate each filing season perpetrating refund fraud, identity theft and other scams that hurt innocent taxpayers.

“Tax professionals provide an incredibly valuable service to taxpayers and our nation’s tax system,” said IRS Commissioner Chuck Rettig. “We encourage people to carefully choose who they trust with their most sensitive tax and financial information. There are some simple steps taxpayers can follow to make sure they’re getting good, professional help.“

Tax return preparers are a vital part of the U.S. tax system. During tax-year 2016, the most recent year for which complete figures are available, about 53.5 percent of taxpayers used a paid preparer. Selecting the right tax professional is vitally important. Taxpayers are ultimately responsible for the accuracy of their tax return, regardless of who prepares it.

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