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Tax Preparer- Essential Things to Keep in Mind
If you need the help of an expert for your taxes, then here is a checklist that can help you select the right person.
How do you find the right tax preparer?
1. Check the PTIN or Preparer Tax Identification Number. This is required by the IRS from a tax preparer in assisting in the preparation of federal tax returns for compensation. Be sure that the professional you choose places his PTIN on your return. This is required by the IRS too.
2. Make sure the professional you choose is a law licensed or CPA. Getting PTIN is quite easy, however you need to go further if you want to make sure that you get the most credential person to prepare your tax. A certified public accountant, for example, is one of the best person to choose for help. Or, you can choose a licensed attorney or someone who has finished IRS’ Annual Filing Season program. There are certain programs that help tax preparers to achieve the requirements of Annual Filing Season Program. You can simply check the IRS’ directory to find these credentials of tax preparers.
3. Do not neglect what your friends can tell you. If you have friends in the industry who are also using the help of a tax preparer, then make sure to ask them. These people will sure give you valuable information. Aside from giving you the names that they have worked with before, they can also share their own personal experiences with the preparer. Knowing their experiences will help you determine if the preparer is what you are looking for, or you need to find another.
4. There is nothing wrong to compare fees. Different tax preparers have different fees. So if you want to get the best one at an affordable price, then get quotes from different professionals. Doing this will make it easier for you to determine which tax preparer has the most affordable price for you. But, you have to be careful not to compromise the quality of services you get.
5. Make sure that the preparer signs on the dotted line. It is a requirement in the law that preparers sign the return of the clients and give their PTINs. You have to be sure not to sign a tax return that is blank. This blank tax return can give opportunity to the tax preparer to put anything such as their bank account number to steal your refund. That is why, you have to go through it carefully before signing.
6. You need a tax preparer who promises to help you all through the way. CPAs, attorneys and enrolled agents can help face the IRS on audits, collection issues, payments, and appeals. Take note that preparers who only have PTINs can’t do such tasks, despite the fact that they do your tax preparation. But, those who have fulfilled the Annual Filing Season Program can sure represent you.
Be sure to carefully decide on which tax preparer you are going to choose. Remember, an informed decision leads to the desired outcome.