How to Find the Right Accounting Firm or Tax Preparation Expert to File Your Tax Return

tax preparation

Every time tax season rolls around, you’re inundated with advertisements for tax preparation specialists and do-it-yourself tax return software. If you aren’t a financial whiz by nature, you may already find doing your taxes to be stressful and overwhelming – and going with the wrong tax preparation method can only add to the stress. If you decide to take your tax return to a professional accountant or tax preparer, follow certain guidelines to ensure you trust your financial future to someone who’s knowledgeable, reliable, and trustworthy. Make sure you are dealing with the expert by reading some reviews about their service reputation online.

Research Their Qualifications

Ensure that you’re hiring someone who knows their stuff by checking their qualifications. Ask if the preparer is affiliated with any certifying organizations, and whether their firm or parent company requires any continuing education. CPAs in the United States must pass the Uniform Certified Public Accountant Examination in order to be licensed, although other certification requirements may vary by state. Additionally, all tax attorneys, CPAs, and other paid tax return preparers must apply for a Preparer Tax Identification Number in order to file federal tax returns. Make certain that your candidate has met these requirements. Finally, look up the individual or business’s past history online to ensure that customers are generally satisfied, no disciplinary action is pending, and that all licensing is up to date. High quality tax preparation is really important so don’t deal with less experienced tax preparer.

Weigh the Costs

It may be tempting to file your taxes on your own to save money, but a good tax preparation expert can definitely be worth the fee. Ask in advance how the accountant’s payment is determined – is it based on the hours worked on your case, on the complexity of your return, or on other factors? Avoid tax preparers who base their fee on a percentage of your refund, or who lure you in the door by promising a far larger refund than their competitors. A qualified tax preparation expert will get you every refund dollar to which you’re entitled, but won’t fudge the return to increase his own fee. Visit today!

Prioritize Relationships

tax preparationLook for a tax preparer or accountant in your area with whom you can build a relationship going forward. You may decide to utilize his services as a financial advisor or planner in the future. Even if you only see him once a year during tax season, you want to work with someone who remembers you and understands your unique financial situation, rather than someone who sees you as just another client. In the unfortunate event that you end up needing tax resolution services to deal with back taxes and penalties, you need a trusted advisor who is willing to revisit your case and go to bat for you. Before your first appointment, make sure that you’ll be able to contact the preparer after April 15 with any follow-up concerns or questions. You tax obligation is important so deal with it before the deadline to prevent some more interest for penalties.

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