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.
In your state, tax preparers maynot have to be licensed. However, several tax professionals are licensed and certified, being affiliated with professional organizations that necessitate a certain educational level and provide constant training. Tax preparers without qualifications may miss legit deductions and/or credits, which may have you paying more tax than you ought to. Services are different for every preparer, so you need to find somebody who gives you what 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?
> Do you have any professional licenses or designations, like certified public accountant (CPA), registered accounting practitioner (RAP), or accredited tax preparer (ATP)?
> Do you take ongoing professional education classes yearly?
> 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?
> Are you available throughout the year to help me with any difficulties I may have in the future?
> Do you do e-filing?
> Are you authorized and will you be able to represent me with the IRS or the state treasury if necessary?
> Will you let me call some of your clients so I can ask about the quality of your work?
Consider checking with the Better Business Bureau in your area to learn about complaints against the preparer, if any.
> If the refund is to be direct deposited, will it end up in my account or yours? Your refund must always go to your account, no questions asked.
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. Go with someone who will be available even after the return is filed and who is quick to respond to your needs. Consider that e-filed returns are more often than not processed sooner than returns which are mailed. 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.