Tips from the Internal Revenue Service:
WORD OF MOUTH: Get some recommendations from family and friends.
CHECK CREDENTIALS: Does the person have the necessary training and certificates to prepare returns and represent you before the IRS if questions arise?
TOO GOOD TO BE TRUE? Be wary if the tax preparer claims to be able to get you a larger refund than other preparers.
THE FEE: If it's based on a percentage of the refund, look elsewhere.
DON'T SIGN AND GO: Avoid tax preparers who ask you to sign a blank return.
CONSIDER LONGEVITY: How long has the preparer been in business? Will he or she be there to answer questions after the return is filed?
DOCUMENTATION: The preparer should ask you for receipts to back up your deductions.