You can legally file a tax return for someone else. The taxpayer will be responsible if something is wrong. Because you are not professional, you are not allowed to charge a fee for preparing tax returns. But some people simply get help from friends or family, and this is perfectly legal.
With the taxpayer's permission, you can assume responsibility for filing someone else's taxes. However, both you and the recipient of your generosity must understand that it is the taxpayer, not the preparer, who is ultimately responsible for any errors. If you do something silly, you won't have to pay back taxes, penalties, or interest; the person whose taxes you prepared is. Any tax professional with an IRS tax preparer identification number (PTIN) is authorized to prepare federal tax returns.
However, tax professionals have different levels of skills, education, and experience. You can grant authorization to a third party to help you with federal tax matters. The third party may be a family member or friend, a tax professional, a lawyer, or a company, depending on the authorization. However, tax preparers are often looking to get more business work, and their 1040 clients are a bridge to that professional goal.
Making individual returns jumpstarts cash flow. Over time, they can get enough money and customers to transition to a more business-focused customer list. If ongoing communication with the designated third party is necessary, consider granting a tax information authorization. In addition to simply helping a friend in need, there are other reasons to fill out someone else's tax return.
If your dependent child has income from work or investments, you may be asked to file a tax return, depending on the amount earned. The basic IRS requirement for all paid tax preparers is to pass the eligibility check and receive a PTIN. As a result, most preparers spend some time each day checking for any IRS changes, technical corrections, or any other state or local changes that may affect their businesses. As a side note, if you get paid to prepare your tax return, that causes a lot of other problems and you may not be able to use TurboTax for that.
You can authorize your tax preparer, friend, family member, or anyone else you choose as a designated third party. The IRS is currently sponsoring a free taxpayer assistance program, Voluntary Income Tax Assistance (VITA), for taxpayers. They must help their customers comply with state and federal tax codes while minimizing the customer's tax burden. The tax information authorization will remain in effect until you revoke the authorization or the designated person withdraws it.
UltraTax CS also offers seamless integration with other Thomson Reuters solutions, including CS Professional Suite and Onvio Firm Management, connecting your entire practice and ensuring that you'll never waste time (or money) performing a task manually. A great first stop is the IRS website, which is full of publications and instructions that will help new and experienced preparers address changes in the tax code, as well as frequently asked questions and other helpful tips. One can become an enrolled agent (a tax professional authorized by the U.S. government).
Department of Justice) by passing a three-part exam administered by the IRS or if you have previous experience as an IRS employee.