The states of Indiana and Illinois do not have any licensing requirement for tax preparers, this is really bad new, because anyone can claim to be a tax preparer. Per IRS over 60% of tax preparers in Wabash valley are not licensed. Fraud amount unlicensed tax preparers runs very high and ultimately you are responsible for their mistakes and fraud items that is on your tax return.
So what kind of licensed tax preparer should you looking for? Enrolled Agent otherwise known as EA or CPA?
I am often asked the question what is an EA? They are licensed by US Dept of Treasury and Per IRS Enrolled Agents are American's Elite Tax Expert. How do you find a licensed tax professional? Well you can Google EA or CPA or when you are shopping to hire a licensed tax preparer simply ask are EA or CPA? Also ask what happens in case of Audit? A licensed tax preparer should be answer "I will be there to represent you before the auditor".
Remember it is very important that hire a licensed tax professional. Ultimately you are responsible for your tax return so if you hire someone because they are cheap and they mess your tax return up you are the responsible. You are the one IRS is coming after.