Tax preparation is dreadful yet inevitable. A single wrong number can highly affect the final results. Therefore, you will need someone who has expertise in the field and will prepare your tax returns with utmost clarity and precision.
When finding a tax preparer, your first instinct is to google “tax relief near me”. This for sure will bring up several results but you cannot rely on someone for having access to your most sensitive data. Besides being trustworthy, the tax preparer should understand your situation and provide you with the most customized tax preparation services.
When hiring an accountant for tax preparation, there are certain things you should look into to make sure you are hiring the perfect person. Therefore, we have brought some tips to help you land the best tax preparer. Let me walk you through this process.
6 Tips To Find The Best Tax Preparer
Your tax information is a very personalized and confidential matter. When you give someone access to such personal information, you need to make sure that the person is credible and reliable. Therefore, when hiring a tax preparer, you should follow a few tips. Keep reading to know those.
1. Ask For Tax Identification Number
Today, if you want a piece of advice on any matter, you will look for an expert in the particular field. More than often, you will check a person’s credentials to make sure they are permitted by law. Therefore, when hiring a tax preparer, then why go for a non-registered one?
When hiring a tax preparer make sure they are registered. You can confirm this by asking for their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). This is necessary because the IRS only allows tax filing by the registered persons. Consequently, if you hire a tax preparer who is not a certified one, they will not be able to file your taxes.
2. Check E-File Option
Asking your tax preparer regarding their e-filing option is a good way to check their credibility. The IRS has a rule that a tax preparer who has filed more than 10 client’s taxes in a given season needs to e-file. Therefore, if your tax preparer is eligible for e-filing, it means that they are quite well known in the field and are hence reputable.
On the contrary, if your tax preparer does not fall under the category of an e-filer, then it is advisable that you reconsider your option and look for a more credible person.
3. Ask For Qualifications
A Preparer Tax Identification Number will just confirm that the person is allowed to file taxes with the IRS. To make sure that they have the expertise in the field, ask for their qualifications. These could be certified public accountants (CPA), IRS enrolled agents or a tax attorney. For presenting your taxes before the IRS, your tax preparer will need one of these degrees. They cannot present simply based on the PTIN number.
Those mentioned above are tax degrees and attaining any of them requires intensive study and exams. Therefore, if your tax preparer possesses any of these, it means that they know the ins and outs of tax filing and will do the work proficiently. This also depicts their interest in the area. A person with a degree in tax law will also be aware of all the rules and any regulations involved, hence they will guide you best.
4. Check Their Updation
Tax laws keep changing now and then. There are amendments made every few years. Therefore, you need to make sure that your tax preparer is up to date on all tax filing matters. You can check this by asking them about the recent laws introduced. This will further strengthen your trust in them.
On the other hand, if you hire a Certified Public Accountant or even an IRS enrolled agent, you do not need to worry about their being up to date. This is because they have to take continuing education courses to keep them abreast of all the new rules introduced.
5. Talk Fee
Before hiring a tax preparer, make sure you talk about the fee with them. It is not like every tax preparer charges the same fee. Some charge on an hourly basis while others charge as per the complication of your case. Hence, it is always good to ask for their charges beforehand. Also, make sure you ask them if they charge any additional fee in case of delay or complications.
It is also advisable to ask whether they charge a separate fee for presenting before the IRS or is it covered in the same package. Once you are completely sure of the fee that will be charged, only then proceed with the tax preparation and filing procedures.
6. Keep An Eye On The Process
Your survey does not end with hiring a tax preparer. Instead, now you have to be more careful. Make sure your tax preparer is working in the right way and is not hiding any tax return details from you.
Would you ever sign on a blank cheque? The answer is obviously no. Similarly, never sign on a blank tax return. If your tax preparer asks you to do so, you should consider switching to a new one. Moreover, review the tax return thoroughly before it is submitted. Make sure that your tax preparer completes it in due time so that you can easily go through it and clear all your queries. Never allow them to submit the tax return file unless you are completely satisfied with all the details. Afterward, also ask for a copy of the complete submitted tax return.
To Wrap Up
Whether you own a conglomerate, a small business, or have just lost a job, you have to file your taxes in the tax season. Some people may use online services or do it themselves, but it is not possible in case you own a big company. Therefore, it is sensible to hire a tax preparer for the complete filing of your tax returns.
When hiring one, make sure you go through all the credentials and ask about their previous work too. Hiring a certified and educated tax professional will certainly confirm legit tax filing.