Top Tips for Choosing the Right Tax Preparer
Choosing the best tax preparer to handle your returns can be daunting due to the many choices available. Here are things to consider when you are choosing a tax preparation service.
Check if the tax preparer you are considering has a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). It is a requirement for anyone preparing tax to have a valid PTIN. Another important qualification to review is their certification and education. In addition, you may want to consider a tax preparer who continues with their education every year. Besides, you want to choose a tax return preparer that belongs to a professional organization as this shows that they follow set standards.
Conduct some background check of the preparer to see if they have a questionable history. It is helpful to seek recommendations from friends and family who have used tax preparation services in the past. Another good way to ensure that the person having access to your information is trustworthy is by checking if they have any disciplinary issues or complaints with Better Business Bureau. If you are considering accountants or attorneys, you can check with your state accountancy board or the bar association of your state for more information.
It is wise to inquire if the preparer will be available outside the tax season. Always ensure that the preparer will be accessible year round and not just before April 15th. Also, you want to be sure that you will be able to reach the preparer at any time even after the due date of filing your return.
Inquire how long the tax preparer has been in business before you make your decision. A preparer who has in-depth history and experience would have handles at least 100 business returns in a year. You also want an experienced preparer who is up-to-date with the applicable tax laws so that you can be assured that they will handle your return accordingly.
Before you make any hiring decision, it is important to inquire what services are included as well as their fees. Decide if you want to work with someone who handles returns exclusively or one who offer other services like auditing. Inquire how they are going to charge you and stay away from preparers who charge a percentage of your returns.
Competent tax preparers will ask to see documentation of your records and receipts. Also, according to IRS, A good preparer will complete your return using Form W-2 rather than using your last pay stub.
Information about your income and investment is very sensitive and when it is not well protected, it could lead to fraudulent activities, hence, inquire about their security procedures. Besides, a competent and professional preparer will follow the security measures set by IRS in order to prevent access to this information by third-parties.