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Information for Consumers and Taxpayers

Free tax prep options and your rights if you hire a paid tax preparer

Free Filing Options for All Income Levels

If You Use a Paid Tax Preparer

  • If you choose to hire a paid tax preparer, hire an IRS-enrolled agent or certified Public Accountant (CPA). You can find a list of local enrolled agents on the NAEAs Find a Tax Expert Directory and a directory of CPA’s on the New Mexico society for CPA's website.
  • You can check a tax-preparer’s credentials and qualifications on the IRS website, or for help with hiring a qualified preparer, call 311.
  • You can purchase tax prep software online. This can cost between $10-$150 or more depending on how complex your tax return is and how much help or extra products you buy. Look up some articles from a reputable source comparing the cost and quality of tax prep software before you decide which one to use.
  • Review the Know Your Rights information below and make sure you understand how much you will be charged for the services and products you choose.

Know Your Rights

  • The tax preparer must tell you about their training and provide you with their federal tax preparer number ("PTIN Number")
  • The tax preparer must provide you with a list of all fees you may be charged.
  • The tax preparer must offer written disclosures in English and Spanish. If the consumer speaks another language, the consumer must be allowed time to locate a translator, if desired.
  • The tax preparer must provide you with the total amount you will be charged before you are required to pay.
  • You have the right to have your refund deposited into your bank account or sent to you via check. The tax preparer cannot require that you take a refund loan, paycard, or that your refund be deposited into a different bank account.
  • If you do choose to have your fees deducted from your refund or take a refund anticipation loan or paycard, the tax preparer must provide you with disclosures that show the interest and fees you will be charged for those products.
  • You have the right to review your return before it is filed - do not sign a return with blank spaces for the preparer to fill out later.
  • The tax preparer must give you a copy of your tax return at no extra charge and give you back any original documents you provided.
  • Tax preparers cannot say things that are false or misleading.
  • You can read the full text of the Albuquerque Tax Preparer's Ordinance for more information.

What to Watch Out for

  • The tax preparer must sign the returns they have prepared for you. It is illegal for a tax preparer to fail to sign a return they prepared and tell you to file it as "self-prepared"
  • Check your return for mistakes or wrong information. If you don't understand something, ask for an explanation.
  • Be careful about extra products or add-on services - they may not be worth the cost. Make sure you understand and agree to all the charges on your invoice.
  • Tax refund loans, advances or "instant refunds": these are not a faster way to get your refund, they are a loan with fees and interest. Make sure you understand the cost of these products before you agree to them. 

How to Report Problems with a Tax Preparer

You should report any problems you have with a tax preparer in Albuquerque to the Office of Consumer Protection by calling 311 or online.

Tax Disputes with the IRS or NMTRD

Other Helpful Resources

Upcoming free online tax workshops with New Mexico Legal Aid Low-Income Tax Clinic: Learn what benefits and claims you may be eligible for this year:

February 1, 2024 6:00 PM - Federal tax workshop in English

March 5, 2024, 6:00 PM - Federal and state tax workshop in English

March 26, 2024, 6:00 PM - Federal and state tax workshop in Spanish

RSVP here for any of the workshops –


New Mexico Legal Aid Low Income Tax Clinic resource page: Low Income Taxpayer Clinic (LITC) | New Mexico Legal Aid

IRS Tips to help people choose a reputable tax preparer | Internal Revenue Service (

Beware of "ghost" preparers who don’t sign tax returns | Internal Revenue Service (

Tax Scams / Consumer Alerts | Internal Revenue Service (

For a printable flyer with tax prep information, click here