Find the Best Tax Preparer Where to go
Now that the market is awash with a variety of software that assists with preparation of taxes, people have resorted to preparing taxes on their own. However, from time to time complications may arise. Under such circumstances, there is need for you to find the best tax preparer. There are many such individuals and the challenge lies in finding the right one. You should be cautious in your search. If mistakes are detected in the returns you make, the IRS will be on your case. The person who did it for you will be nowhere near this. In case you are put under scrutiny and it is found that you paid less than was supposed to, you will have no choice than to pay up plus interest. This goes to emphasis on why it is necessary to find the best tax preparer.
In case you are wondering how to find the best tax preparer, below are some guidelines:
- Qualifications: All people, professionally qualified or otherwise, who are in the service of the public as tax preparation experts should be registered by the IRS. So long as someone is in the business of assisting people with preparation of taxes and receive payment for it, the IRS must endorse such a person. However, you need to note that their qualifications are not the same. This means you have a choice of dealing with an agent or a qualified accountant. The latter is always considered to be the best alternative. Certified public accountants are trained on tax matters. Besides they are guided and bound by professional ethics. With a CPA you can be able to dig on his/her professional background.
- Years of experience: A tax preparer's experience has the same level of importance as the qualifications. When seeking to hire one, ask about the kind of returns they specialize in and the volume they handle annually. You can also ask about the clients they have dealt with in the past. Request for a portfolio and whether you can talk to a few of these. If the preparer is confident that he has been doing a good job, that request should not be a problem. The point is to choose someone who has handled many cases including tax audits.
- Fees: Every tax preparing agent has got his own set of fees. This is levied according to his level of training and years of experience. Compare the fees charged by different tax preparers. Go further and get to understand what you will be getting as value for money. For instance, preparer X may charge you $75 to file a return. If no further information is provided, you will not know whether this fee includes the schedules that are supposed to be attached. At the same time, you are not in a position to know whether there is an extra charge if the process takes more time than was earlier planned. Discuss these possibilities with your potential tax preparer. Do not accept to be billed on an hourly basis. You have no way of ascertaining the time spent working on your return.
- Communication: You should have some rapport with the tax preparer. A good one keeps the communication lines open. At the same time, since he is a professional, he ought to break it down for you in a language you can understand. The tax preparer is supposed to spare time and discuss the return with you. This way you are both on the same page. In case you need clarifications, he should provide them. Open communication between the two of you makes it easy and allows you to derive some comfort as a result.