What You Should Know About Experts This Year

How to Choose a Good Tax Preparer

If you choose to work with a paid tax preparer, it is imperative that you find a competent professional. Even if somebody else prepares your return, you are still liable for the content and for any added payments, interest and penalty that can arise from an inaccuracy.

You may be a resident of a state in which tax preparers have no need for a license. However, a lot of tax professionals are licensed and certified, being part of professional organizations that call for a particular level of education and provide continuing training. Incompetent tax preparers may fail to notice justifiable deductions and/or credits, which can make you pay more tax than you must. 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 kind of recognized tax training do you have?

> Do you possess any professional licenses or designations, for instance, enrolled agent (EA), or accredited tax advisor (ATA)?

> Do you take continuous professional education courses from year to year?

> How long have you been working as a tax professional?

> Have you ever prepared a tax return similar to what I need?

> How much do I have to pay you and how do you set your fee?

> Are you available throughout the year to help me with any difficulties I may have in the future?

> Do you do e-filing?

> Can you and will you represent me before the IRS or the state treasury if needed?

> Will you let me call some of your clients so I can ask 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 to be direct deposited, will it end up in my account or yours? Your refund must always be forwarded to your account, end of story.

Stay away from those who say they can get bigger refunds than other preparers, or those who “promise” results, along with those who set their fees on a cut 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 are still be subjected to evaluation, and you must rely on Treasury with respect to return processing time frames, not the preparer.

More ideas: Discover More