Finding the Right Tax Preparer
If you choose to employ a paid tax preparer, it is vital that you find a practiced professional. Even if somebody else prepares your return, you are still accountable for the content and for any further payments, penalty and interest that could stem from a mistake.
You may be a resident of a state in which tax preparers have no need for a license. However, several tax professionals are licensed and certified, being affiliated with professional organizations that necessitate a certain educational level and provide constant training. Untrained tax preparers may neglect valid deductions and/or credits, which may lead to you paying more tax than you are supposed to. Services differ from one preparer to the next, so you would like to find someone who offers the exact services you need.
Asking questions is important to make certain you are hiring a professional with the suitable skill level. Below are good questions to ask ahead of hiring the services of a tax preparer:
> What type of official tax training do you have?
> Are you a holder of any professional licenses or designations, for example, accredited tax preparer (ATP), certified public accountant (CPA), or registered accounting practitioner (RAP)?
> Do you take continuous professional education courses from year to year?
> How long have you worked as a tax preparer?
> Have you ever prepared a tax return that is relevant to my tax situation?
> How much are your charges and how do you decide on your fee?
> Will you be around to help me with any issues I might have in the future?
> Do you offer e-filing services?
> Can you and will you represent me before the IRS or the state treasury if needed?
> Can you give me a list of names of your past or current clients whom I can talk to about the quality of your work?
Check with the Better Business Bureau in your area to know if there are or were complaints against the preparer you’re considering.
> If the refund is going to be direct deposited, will my account receive it or yours? Your refund should always go to your account, period.
Keep away from those who assert they can fetch you more in refunds than other preparer can, those who “promise” this or that result, and those would like you to pay them a certain percentage of of your refund. Select someone you can get to after the return has been filed and is receptive to your needs. Keep in mind that e-filed returns are typically processed faster than returns that come through the mail. E-filed returns will still subject to examination, and you ought to rely on Treasury in terms of the return processing deadlines, not the preparer.
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