When looking for a CPA or tax preparer keep these key items in mind.
Look for a licensed CPA.
If the person is not a CPA make sure the person has a PTIN with the IRS.
Check referrals and their website.
Never go with someone whose fee is a percentage of your refund.
Never go with anyone who says they will pay your IRS bill for you.
Never go with someone who offers you audit insurance or audit defense.
Remember, you get what you pay for. –– If you are looking for inexpensive you will most likely get someone who is going to punch numbers in the computer system and spit out a tax return. They will do this in an hour or so. If you want someone to analyze your tax situation, educate you, make sure you are paying the correct amount of taxes, offer insight and advice, and give you the service you deserve that will cost more money and require a professional. However, this could save you thousands of dollars in taxes in the long run.
Lastly, If it doesn’t feel right, do not leave your confidential items. Pick up your items and walk out.