With the tax season going on, you don’t want to delay searching for a tax professional. However, opting for tax preparation is not an easy feat.
It would help if you connected with the right tax professional from the beginning of the tax preparation. It would help if you kept in mind that the best tax preparers do more than fill out forms. They also need to watch out for the areas to ascertain potential savings, aid in the audit, and provide year-round guidance and support.
Comprehend your tax preparation requirements
The very first step to finding the best tax professional is to ascertain what services you require. Certain people look for basic tax returns, while others require a preparer handling complex tax situations. They also need to be available for consultation all year round. To know the rates of hiring these tax professionals, we advise you to look at the taxslayer audit assistance pricing.
Certain CPAs concentrate primarily on audits. And those who opt for a career in tax preparation need to select from specific areas like individual, commercial, or real estate taxes.
In the same way, non-CPA tax preparers might have expertise in certain types of returns and not others.
Scrutinize your network for referrals
Once you have determined the scope of service required, the next step is to start searching. The best place to do this is to ask others for a recommendation or referral. Keep this in mind: A trusted attorney or insurance agent may also have connections with experienced tax professionals.
At the bare minimum, someone paid to prepare taxes requires a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) to file taxes with the IRS. But, almost anyone can get a PTIN, and there is no guarantee that a preparer is good at their job or offers the service you require. If you wish to file for more complex returns or help with tax-minimizing strategies, hire an enrolled agent, CPA, or tax attorney.
Take their interview
You can get a fair idea from the online reviews. However, nothing can replace a personal conversation. This is especially significant if you are searching for someone to partner with you for the long term.
Tax time can be very busy, so do not expect a long conversation. However, do ask for a five-to-10 minute phone call at the bare minimum. Here is some information that you can inquire from them:
How is data kept secure?
Do they charge a flat fee per form or an hourly rate?
How many returns do you complete per year?
Do you prepare all returns on your own, or do you have a staff to take care of that?
Do you know how to file for taxes online?
Look out for red flags
Not everyone who says he/she is a tax preparer is legitimate.
Watch out for these red flags:
- Someone who promises a refund that is far more than anything you have received in the past
- If it is difficult to find their physical address
- Assessing a fee based on the size of your refund is a big violation of professional ethics
These are some of the steps to find the best tax professional and do tax preparation.