It's that time of year again; tax season. Many of us will be looking for a professional to prepare our taxes. Therefore, I would like to share some tips and advice about how to choose a professional tax preparer.
All taxpayers should choose someone to prepare their taxes wisely. It's extremely important to choose a qualified professional when you are paying someone to prepare your taxes. Ultimately, the taxpayer is responsible for everything associated with their tax return, even when it's prepared by a professional.
You will find that a true professional will ask many questions and ask to see your records and receipts to determine your total income and how your qualifications for deductions, expenses and other items will affect your return. By doing this, you know they have your best interest in mind and not their own.
While there are many honest tax professionals to be found, taxpayers should use these great tips to help choose the best professional for them.
· Service fees - Always avoid professionals who claim they will obtain you a larger refund than other professionals or who guarantee a refund based on fees from percentage of the refund amount. Depending on your return, this could mean hundreds of dollars.
· Get references - Be sure to ask questions and get references from the professional's past clients. And, ask those clients if they were satisfied with the service they received.
· Research - Choose a preparer who you will be able to contact after the return is filed and who will be responsive to your needs. Check with the Better Business Bureau for any questionable history. You can also check with the state's board of accountancy for CPAs. Ask the preparer if they belong to any professional organizations that require members to pursue continuing education. Some organizations will hold the professional accountable to a code of ethics.
· Check their credentials - Is the professional a Certified Public Accountant, Attorney, or Enrolled Agent? If your professional is one of these, he or she can represent you in all matters that include appeals, audits and collections.
I hope you find these tips and advice useful in finding the best professional to handle your tax return. And, if you are a new homeowner, be sure to mention that to your tax preparer.