A Guide to Choosing an Accountant to Do Your Taxes
The tax filing season begins this month, so now is the time to prepare. If you decide to hire a professional to handle your tax returns, make sure you do your homework first. So that you don’t get dinged with penalties, you’re putting your faith in this individual to handle your tax information with care and prepare your return correctly. But how can you determine if a tax preparer is a good fit for you or your company?
Most tax professionals are top-notch experts who put their customers’ needs first. Unfortunately, there are still dishonest tax preparers who will submit fake tax returns or who will file without compliance concerns. Despite the preparer’s signature on the final document, you are ultimately accountable for the correctness of all reported items.
How qualified are they, exactly?
Finding a competent tax preparer should be your first priority. As such, anyone who charges clients to prepare their tax returns is expected to have a solid grasp of the subject. The preparer’s PTIN and signature are required by law. To e-file taxes on your behalf, most tax preparers will additionally require an Electronic Filing Identification Number (EFIN). Verify the tax preparer’s identity and their ability to file tax returns lawfully.
Verify that your tax preparer has the necessary qualifications. To represent taxpayers in audits, collections, and appeals before the IRS, only attorneys, EAs, and CPAs are allowed. If an audit of a tax return is conducted, a taxpayer cannot be represented by a preparer who is not licensed.
Are they able to converse effectively with one another?
Your tax preparer should be able to explain everything to you clearly. You should collaborate with someone who can answer your questions and explain the process in terms you can grasp before, during, and after the filing process. They need to keep you in the loop and ensure they have all the details to file your taxes accurately and on time.
If the IRS has questions after reviewing your return, you must stay in touch with them. You can authorize your paid tax return preparer or another third party to communicate with the IRS on your behalf regarding your tax return’s preparation, payment, refund, and mathematical errors. Think about whether or not the person or company will be around to answer queries concerning the return’s preparation for months or even years after it has been filed.
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