Taxpayer Bill of Rights

November 2, 2022

Rockland County, NY Article XV §355-92

CONSUMER BILL OF RIGHTS

REGARDING TAX PREPARERS


Pursuant to the Tax Preparers Law of the Laws of Rockland County, all consumers shall be entitled to the following rights, which cannot be waived:


1. You are entitled to ask the individual tax preparer assisting or advising you on your tax returns or related matters what his or her qualifications are, and he or she is required, upon request, to produce documentation to verify such qualifications.


2. You are entitled to know how fees and charges are computed, including minimum charges and any additional charges. You must be given a receipt which states the charges for each tax return. The receipt must list the address and phone number at which the tax preparer may be contacted during a one-year period following April 15th of the year in which the prepared tax return is filed.


3. You are entitled to know whether the tax preparer will represent you at a government audit. Failure to make this disclosure means that the tax preparer agrees to represent the taxpayer to provide representation at a government audit. The tax preparer shall disclose the fee, if any, to be charged for such representation.


4. You are entitled to receive all personal papers you provide to the tax preparer upon request when the original tax return is given to you for filing, unless the tax preparer is specifically permitted to retain such papers under state or federal law.


5. You are entitled to know that any tax preparer who advertises the availability of a program by which a taxpayer may receive a loan against the taxpayer's anticipated refund may not directly or indirectly represent such loan as a refund. Any advertisement for tax preparation services which mentions such a loan program must state conspicuously that it is a loan for a fee or interest charges which will be charged by the lending institution for any such loan, and must disclose the name of the lending institution.


6. You are entitled to receive a copy of every tax return that the tax preparer prepares on your behalf at the time the original tax return is given to the taxpayer for filing or filed by the preparer. In the case of the tax returns that are filed electronically there will be no original tax return but the customer shall receive a printed copy of the return.


7. You are entitled to have the tax preparer sign every tax return that he/she prepares on your behalf. In the case of tax returns that are filed electronically the signature may be electronic.


8. You are entitled to know whether or not the tax preparer is a licensed accountant or attorney in New York State.


9. As the taxpayer you should:


a. Never sign an incomplete tax return or one that is filled out in pencil.


b. Never send cash to the government for payment of your taxes. Always use a check or money order to pay your taxes.


c. Never allow your refund to be mailed to the tax preparer.


d. Keep a record of your tax preparer's year-round address and phone number.


e. Review your complete tax return for accuracy before it is mailed or electronically filed and keep a copy in your files.


f. Check with the Rockland County Department of Consumer Affairs to determine if the individual or business preparing your taxes has ever been found to have violated the provisions of Tax Preparers Law of the Laws of Rockland County related to the control and regulation of tax preparers.


g. Retain copies of your income tax return and supporting documentation for a period of not less than three years.


h. Make a list of the documents you have given your tax preparer and have the tax preparer sign it.