The majority of people hire tax experts to assist them in filing tax returns. Recent research shows that about 80% of those who seek tax preparation services never ask about the qualifications and credentials of a tax preparer. Given that a tax preparer is someone you will be sharing personal financial information such as your bank accounts income, your marriage, and even your kids, knowing your tax preparer qualifications is critical. When searching for tax preparation services, here are some essential tips on finding the best tax preparation services.
Ask for a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). The IRS requires any experts in tax preparation services to have a PTIN. When looking for a tax preparer, ensure that they put their PTIN number on your return which is also a requirement by IRS. You should also go a step further and ask for tax preparer credentials. Do not be enticed into working with a tax preparer who is not qualified for the job. Having the proper credentials and a CPA certificate shows that the expert has the required skills and knowledge required for tax preparation.
Compare service fees. It would help if you did your research well about service fees before you start looking for a tax preparer to hire. Know the average fee for tax preparation services and use it for comparison when looking for tax preparation services. You should note that a minimum fee is usually charged based on the complexity of the tax return, or a set fee is charged for each form of any schedule needed in your return. Beware of tax experts who charge their fees based on the size of your refund or who claim that he or she can get you a bigger refund than other tax experts. Filling all tax returns is not enough; you need a tax preparer who will have your back. A tax preparer who has all the proper credentials such as PTINs and CPA will represent various circumstances such as audit, collection issues appeals, and tax return. A tax preparer with PTINs will only be allowed to represent you only in limited circumstances. The availability of the tax preparer is crucial. Even after completion of tax preparation services, your relationship with a tax preparer should not end there. The correct tax expert will have time to respond to your email, take your call or be open for a meeting.
Check the tax preparer’s professional record. You will be sharing sensitive personal information with your tax preparer; hence you must hire someone you can trust. Apart from having the proper credentials, a tax expert should also have a credible professional record. There is an accredited tax preparer in the market, which has a bad reputation. Before handing over your financial documents, make sure you go through a preparer’s history and ensure that he has a good reputation. There are many credible sources that you can use to check on a preparer’s professional background, such as Better Business Bureau. Consider these factors to help you choose the right tax preparer services that will meet your needs most efficiently.