Be prepared before picking tax preparer
March 3, 2012 5:00PM
Updated: April 5, 2012 8:19AM
Do you hear that noise? It’s the clock ticking. The tax deadline is creeping closer. But before you hire a tax preparer, the Better Business Bureau has a few warnings for consumers:
Ask around: Get referrals from friends and family or check with BBB at www.bbb.org
Check the preparer’s history: Check with BBB or state boards or professional associations.
Look for credentials: Get a certified public accountant, a tax attorney or an enrolled IRS agent.
Don’t fall for the promise of a big refund: Be wary of promises of large refunds, and avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund.
Think about accessibility: In the case of errors or an audit, you need a tax preparer who is available year round.
Read the contract carefully: Make sure you understand how much it will cost no matter what the complication.
“Remember that it’s illegal for tax preparers to encourage you to falsify deductions, exemptions or income in order to pay less tax or obtain tax credits,” the BBB warned. “If they ask you to sign a blank or incomplete form or guarantee that you won’t be audited, go elsewhere.”
The Illinois State Toll Highway Authority is making it easier for job seekers find out about and apply for openings at the tollway.
Starting Thursday, you can go to the tollway’s website to view current openings, download and complete applications and email them directly to the tollway.
Possible jobs include: Toll collectors, engineers, information technology techs, mechanics, carpenters, painters, laborers, accountants etc.
Also, starting last year, job seekers could provide their e-mail address to the tollway to get the latest job announcements. Visit www.illinoistollway.com for more information.
If you are a restaurateur, a caterer or work in some other facet of the commercial food industry and you want to save some “green,” mark March 21 on your calendar.
That’s the date for a Green Business Seminar, which will be from 7:30 a.m. to noon at Joliet Junior College, 1215 Houbolt Road.
The event is hosted by the Will County Land Use Department’s Resource Recovery and Energy Division in conjunction with Joliet Junior College and the Joliet Area Chamber of Commerce.
The seminar is called “Make Money Going Green.” The cost is $15 or $20 at the door.
Checks can be sent to Will County Land Use, Attn: Green Business Seminar, 58 E. Clinton, Suite 500, Joliet, IL 60432. For more information, call 815-727-8834.