ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — The New York State Department of Taxation and Finance announced Monday they have updated the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers to help New Yorkers better protect themselves from dishonest tax preparers. Some tax preparers use their position of power to solicit personal information, according to the department.

“While most tax return preparers are honest professionals, some take advantage of their position of trust and access to sensitive information to scam customers out of their hard-earned money,” said Acting Commissioner of Taxation and Finance Amanda Hiller.

Tax return preparers must:

  • Display their registration certificate and price list
  • Tell you ahead of time if they will represent you if your return is audited
  • Ask you about income, expenses and other information needed to make an accurate return
  • Allow you to look over your completed return and review for accuracy
  • Give you a written statement of interest and fees you could be charged if you choose a refund advance or a refund transfer instead of using direct deposit
  • Sign your tax return and enter their Preparer Tax Identification Number
  • e-File your return
  • Give you a year-round address and phone number for questions or concerns
  • Provide you a copy of your filed return

If any of these requirements aren’t met, you can file a complaint with the Office of Professional Responsibility. Tax preparers must also display the Consumer Bill of Rights Regarding Tax Preparers and provide a copy in pamphlet form.

Tax Department investigators will conduct compliance checks throughout tax season to ensure tax preparers follow these requirements. Tax preparers who fail to do so will be fined and potentially suspended from practice.