Washington, D.C.– The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants encourages the more than 81 million taxpayers who hire professional assistance each year to make an appointment now with a CPA tax preparer before their schedules fill up.
“It’s simple: always choose a CPA,” said Tom Ochsenschlager, vice president of taxation for the AICPA. “CPAs are business people in your community who will be there for you, year after year.” Tax season is underway. Most Americans last week received their W-2 forms from employers telling them how much money they earned in 2008, and the April 15 filing deadline is just 10 weeks away. “To be licensed by the states in which they practice, CPAs must pass a rigorous professional exam after they finish their college education,” Ochsenschlager said. “After they are licensed, mandatory continuing professional education requirements make sure that CPAs stay current with regulatory and legal changes. In addition, AICPA members must adhere to strict ethical standards, and additional rules apply to CPAs who are tax practitioners.”
Ochsenschlager pointed out that storefront tax form preparers may be of little help if your return is questioned. “If the IRS raises a question about your return, only CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents are authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS,” he said. “CPAs are the best trained and most skilled professionals taxpayers can hire.”