Doing Experts The Right Way

Types of Professionals Who Prepare Tax Returns

Tax return preparation could be time-consuming, complex, and simply frustrating. When there is other work to do, taxes seem to never get stricken off of the to-do list. Nevertheless, getting such taxes filed is a need, and the safest way around it is to hire a tax professional. Remember, even small mistakes can be costly and troublesome, working with an expert however helps you prevent them.

The question is, which expert should you hire? There are various types of professionals out there who are can help you with your taxes. Below is a quick rundown of the most popular designations you will see:

Certified Financial Planner (CFP)

A CFP should pass an exam, fulfill certain educational requirements, obtain experience in finance, and meet other specific qualifications. Some CFPs are knowledgeable about filing taxes, but not all are. If you are looking at someone who has this designation, find out more about their tax filing experience before you hire them.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

As the designation indicates, a certified public accountant is an individual who has been certified by the state to act as a public accountant. In accounting, this is the sole licensed qualification. Depending on the particular state requirements, majority must meet certain educational requirements apart from passing a set of exams. CPA services include accounting, financial planning, business evaluation and auditing. There are some CPAs who specialize exclusively in taxes.

Enrolled Agents (EA)

An enrolled agent is an individual who has worked in the IRS before or has passed a three-part IRS exam. EAs need to complete continuing education courses in order to stay up to date on changes in tax laws, and should adhere to particular ethical standards. This is the highest IRS-awarded credential a tax preparer can have.

JD (Law Degree) and LLM (Master of Law)

Anybody with these degrees can have a taxation specialty, but not in all cases. If you must work with any legal professional, make sure they focus their pratice on taxes and not a whole range of areas. The attorney who did a great job with your car accident or divorce may not be your best option for your taxes!

Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Volunteer

VITA volunteers are tax preparers IRS-trained in tackling basic returns. However, if you are a business owner, this is often not the best person to approach.

Lastly, if you check further, that there are bookkeepers, accountants and unlicensed tax preparers who have no formal credentials, yet are completely reliable. This does not mean you have to rule them out. You probably just have to dig more into their tax experience and education.

Suggested Post: company website