WHO SHOULD PREPARE YOUR TAXES?
Have you thought into making your own taxes? That is not recommended! Tax professionals can do the complicated work for you. Plus, their duty is to make sure you get the most possible refund and only pay your fair share of income taxes. But, which kind of tax professional do you choose to prepare your taxes? Or, should you just walk into one of those tax chains? Perhaps, look for a CPA?
If you don’t have a tax preparer you will want to do some research and choose wisely because even when your return is prepared by someone else, you’re still legally and financially responsible for everything on it. Most tax preparers are honest professionals, but there is still a few that you should never cross paths with. Here are some tips to find the right tax professional for you.
There are two types of tax professionals certified public accountants and enrolled agents. Both types can represent you before the IRS in case you get audited.
Certified public accountants or CPAs are accountants who have passed qualifying state exams and met specific education and experience requirements for that title. Not all CPAs are experts on income taxes, though, so when looking for someone to prepare your return, you’ll want to ask about the CPA’s experience in handling individual taxes. A benefit of going with a CPA is these financial pros may be able to help you with other financial situations like estate planning or financial planning in addition to doing your taxes.
Enrolled agent or EA is a tax professional licensed by the IRS through a special enrollment exam or after working for the IRS for five years. Enrolled Agents may specialize in specific tax areas, so be sure to ask what his or her area of expertise is. The benefit of using an enrolled agent is that these people live and breathe taxes since they’re required to take continuing education courses in taxes every three years and may charge less than CPAs.
Also, there is such things as tax attorneys and they are best for handling complex tax disputes and corporate matters, rather than preparing individual returns.
Big chains tax preparation offices are franchises who are designed to move as many tax returns as quickly as possible through the system, using briefly trained, seasonal employees, and there’s limited quality control. This may lead to returns being incorrect to some degree. You’re better off going with an accountant or an enrolled agent with whom you can develop a long-term relationship and who will do more than just input your numbers.
Now you know. Pick the one that best suits you. Ask them if they specialize in the kind of income tax return. It’s ok to ask as many questions as you need. After all, you are trusting the tax preparer with your personal information and money!
By UNIKO Media Group