Finding a Paid Tax Preparer & Free Tax Help

If you need help finding a preparer for your tax return, choose help wisely. As a taxpayer, you are legally responsible for everything reported on your tax return; whether you prepare it yourself or have someone else prepare it for you.

When selecting an individual or company to prepare your taxes, be sure to:

  • Check the person or company’s qualifications. (Beginning in 2014, only four types of preparers will be authorized to prepare individual returns for compensation: Enrolled Agents, Annual Filing Season Program Participants, Certified Public Accountants and Attorneys. Inquire about your preparer’s professional status.)
  • Check the preparer’s history.
  • Ask about their service fees.
  • Make sure they are accessible after the April due date in case you have a question about your return.

The preparer you choose should:


  • Ask you to provide all receipts and records needed to prepare your return.
  • Not ask you to direct any part of your refund to an account that is not in your, or your spouse’s, name.
  • Never ask you to sign a blank return.
  • Allow you to review the completed return, including all schedules and attachments, and explain it all to you before you sign it.
  • Sign the return, include their preparer tax identification number (PTIN) and provide you a copy.

See: Tax Preparers Gone Bad

Planning for Tax Time


  • Being organized and planning ahead can save time, money and headaches at tax time. Start gathering your records and exploring your options now. You’ll have more time when you’re not facing a deadline or anxious for your refund.
  • Each household’s financial circumstances are different, so it’s important to fully consider your specific situation and goals before making large financial decisions. And remember, even some legitimate returns may require additional review and take longer to process, so don’t count on getting your refund by a certain date to pay for something important.

If you can’t afford a paid preparer, there are several options for free tax preparation.


  •  E-file with Free File is an option available to most taxpayers with income below $60,000. It’s available at IRS.gov where a number of tax software companies make their products available for free.
  • The Volunteer Income Tax Assistance program offers free tax preparation for low-to moderate-income taxpayers. Find a VITA site near you.
  • Tax Counseling for the Elderly offers priority assistance to people who are 60 years of age and older. To find a TCE site, visit the AARP locator.
  • Active duty military members and their families can receive free tax preparation assistance at VITA sites within their installations. The volunteer return preparers are trained and equipped to address military specific tax issues.

Free tax preparation assistance is closer than you think, and now finding out where to go for help is just a matter of following a few easy steps.

See: 6 Ways to Reduce Your Chance of an IRS Audit

See: Deductible vs. Non-Deductible – A Simple Guide

For immediate assistance with preparing your tax return, or another tax matter, contact us today at 1-949-260-4770 for CONFIDENTIAL consultation with our CPAs and former IRS Auditors.  

We look forward to serving you. 

More IRS News and Information

Very good experience and glad I made the decision to use this company. Michael was professional and courteous in all of my dealings with him. My tax dilemma was quickly resolved and Michael even waived much of his normal fee. Where else have you heard of a business doing that? Without question, I would recommend Landmark Tax Group for anyone seeking a fair resolution for a tax problem.

Great service! Michael really knows his stuff and goes above and beyond. They delivered more than they promised and helped me get an AWESOME resolution to my case.  I highly recommend them.

I worked with Landmark Tax Group to help sort through my LLC, 501c(3) and personal finance questions. They were prompt, friendly and extremely knowledgeable. This was the best experience I’ve had with a tax company. I would HIGHLY recommend them!

Great service!!! Very diligent and most importantly high integrity. One of those rare occasions when someone is looking out for your best interest.

Michael was fantastic! He understood my case very quickly, got right to work and was super prompt with communications. His professionalism and his friendly demeanor immediately put me at ease. I whole heartedly recommend contacting them if you’re in need of advice and assistance.

I received great advice in how to deal with the FTB, i don’t review often, but when someone is honest and legitimate, they do deserve a review.  My questions were answered, and if i didn’t quite understand, Micheal was more than willing to give me follow-up answers to better help me.  I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group, just for the mere fact that they treat you as a human being, Not a cash cow.

I had some returns from previous years to complete after receiving a hefty bill from the California Franchise Tax Board.  Michael was prompt in answering my questions and very helpful and reassuring.  We had several back and forth communications and this was all done for free since they do not prepare tax returns.  He gave me some contacts and advice and now I’m on my way to getting my situation resolved.  I’m very thankful for his advice and guidance.

While Michael’s scope of practice meant that we ultimately could not work directly to resolve the issue I was having, he was very prompt, professional, generous and kind in taking time out of his schedule to consult with me, refer me to his network of colleagues- not just once, but a second time even months after. Some professionals are just after services and compensations but Michael strikes me as someone who genuinely cares about your situation and wants to see to it that it gets resolved. These other reviews speak to that as well. You never want to be in a situation where you need to be looking up tax help, but God forbid you ever are, Michael is the person you want in your corner!

Michael and Landmark Tax Group were simply awesome. I like so many others had a year’s old tax issue arise with California FTB. I no longer live there which compounded the stress of the situation. The state had seized monies and filed a lien. After a call to an online tax relief place and some sketchy phone calls I was so happy to find Michael and immediately felt in good hands… at a time of considerable panic.
Fast forward to today and with his help I am totally debt free. He saved me $23,000
I highly recommend Michael and Landmark Tax Group

Michael Raanan is an angel! Michael went above and beyond for me. He was very knowledgeable, professional and very thorough! He is easy to talk to and amazing at what he does. I have a feeling that everyone at landmark tax group shares this way of professionalism! I highly recommend coming here for any and all of your tax help. They will help you and you will be more than pleased with them. 🙂

After calling the other highly advertised tax assistant agency’s and being disappointed with how they responded to my tax matter, I feel fortunate to have found out about the Landmark Tax Group. Michael was very understanding of my situation, and I felt very comfortable dealing with him. He was very knowledgeable and professional in handling our tax issue in a timely manner. I would highly recommend The Landmark Tax Group to anyone who needs assistance in dealing with the IRS.

Wow, just wow. I called Michael today to ask about some major tax issues I had with a defunct corporation I’d started years ago. Michael talked to me for about half an hour, walking me through options and generally helping me understand my options.

Because of him, I’m going to rest nicely tonight for the first time in weeks. It was great to hear that he used to work in IRS collections for 8 years too… which made me feel a lot more secure in his answer.

In all, I’m completely stunned by the level of service he gave to a random stranger who called in and wasn’t going to turn into any revenue for him. I have to imagine that his level of service for actual customers is unreal.

Fast, dependable, reliable, full transparency.  Michael Raanan of Landmark Tax Group allayed my fears spending the rest of my senior years paying my tax debt.  As a result of his extensive knowledge of the tax code, the right questions to ask, and his dedication to my case, I had information, resolution and a plan of action within 24 hours, start to finish.  Amazing!  I highly recommend Landmark Tax Group!

We were very pleased with the expert assistance we received from Michael Raanan at Landmark Tax Group.  In a matter of months we had a resolution to our IRS tax issue.  He was very knowledgeable, professional, explained things in easy to understand terminology & was very easy to discuss our tax issues with.  We called around to other tax groups & just felt the most comfortable speaking & working with Michael.  We are happy to recommend him & his firm.

Great place for tax [relief] advice. Even if they don’t see a need for you to use and pay for their service, they’ll still give you excellent advice and direction at no cost. They are worth a call.

Michael Raanan represents the highest level of professionalism, integrity, decency, and true concern for his clients. His advice every step of the way was right on target.  The end result was a savings of $13,000 on my taxes.

I have already referred him to the other members of my financial team and have complete confidence in referring any clients to him. He is a shining star in his field.

Oh, did I mention how reasonable his fees are? Exceptional considering the amount of attention he provides.

Landmark Tax Group
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