Tax returns have lots of things that you need to sign. There are signature pages for e-filing a tax return, there are different pages to sign if you are paper filing a return. Sometimes you need to sign tax elections, or tax engagement letters. There can be a lot of different things to sign!
Before you sign that tax return or that election, you really need to look it over and make sure you understand what is in that tax return. By signing a tax return you are taking responsibility for the accuracy of the information in that return, so it’s your responsibility to make sure it’s correct.
Make sure the address for the beneficiaries or partners hasn’t changed, make sure you understand what your basis schedule means for deducting future loses, make sure you understand what the balance sheet and income statement are saying about the company activity for the year, and make sure you know why you are getting an education credit.
You may not understand every nuance or every line of every form, but having a general understanding of the return is critical. No matter how thorough your CPA is, they can’t possibly know everything about your life and your financial situation. One more look at your return is in everyone’s best interest.
Looking over the tax return carefully can be an important learning opportunity. The better you understand your tax situation, the better you can plan for minimizing your tax situation.