SALEM – With April 15 drawing near, state tax officials are urging people to make sure any professional tax preparer they use is licensed.

JoAnn Martin, administrator of Oregon’s Personal Tax and Compliance Division, also recommends checking the credentials of the person you hire to do your taxes.

In Oregon, anyone you pay to prepare your tax returns must be licensed.

“If you hire an unlicensed preparer, there’s a real risk that they’ll make potentially costly mistakes on your return,” Martin said.

No matter who does your taxes – a licensed tax professional, an unlicensed tax preparer, you, a relative, or a friend – she also recommends checking your return thoroughly before it’s submitted.

“Ultimately, you’re responsible for the accuracy of your return. It’s up to you to check what’s on it before it’s sent,” she said.

The following websites can help consumers check licensing in Oregon:

• Tax preparers: www.oregon.gov/OTPB

• Certified public accountants: www.oregon.gov/BOA

Report unlicensed tax preparers to the Board of Tax Practitioners.

People can visit www.oregon.gov/dor to get tax information, check the status of a refund, or make payments. Or send questions to questions.dor@oregon.gov; call 503-378-4988 in Salem and outside Oregon; or call, toll-free, 800-356-4222.

The department receives a lot of phone calls during tax season so there may be long wait times.

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