Choosing a Tax Preparer Who is Right for You
If you own a business and simply don’t stay up with all the recent tax law changes, or maybe you just don’t want to deal with taxes, then it is smart to choose the services of a competent tax professional and adviser to prepare your income taxes. But it is also wise to do bit of research before you decide who to hire. So, who do you go to take care of this very important and vital financial task that must be done every year by April 15th?
Uncle Joe or Cousin Elizabeth? They both have full time job’s… but they prepare income taxes on the side, and usually work very cheap! The problem with them is that since they don’t do it full- time they don’t stay on top of the tax laws. In addition, since they work full time at other jobs, they cannot give you the full attention you might need or deserve and lastly do you really want a family member knowing your business?
How about “Ralphs Rapid Refund Tax Service” that you see advertising on TV? they promise you a very large refund, maybe even encouraging you to fudge on your expenses or offer some crazy tax saving suggestions for increasing a refund, but as it turns out they aren’t licensed and maybe they are even under investigation by the IRS.
Or best yet, how about one of the large tax franchises that promise very large and quick refunds, and also make satisfaction guarantees. But the problem with these places is number one, the employees are usually part time that have very little if any training in the tax laws, and two after tax season is over they close down their office and are no -where to be found except for an 800 phone number. So if you receive an IRS audit notice they are not there to defend you or cannot help answer an IRS tax notice.
Points to Consider When Hiring a Tax Pro
First of all you should only be dealing with either a licensed CPA, EA (enrolled agent) or Attorney. If not then there is no guarantee they have proper training and certifications in the tax field. Also, ask how long they have been in business and whether or not they are open and available year- round to assist with any problems that might come up. Ask if they are authorized to represent with an audit or collection matter if a matter comes up. Lastly, make sure you ask for references and get a clear understanding of billing and payment policies.