Top Tips for Choosing the Right Tax Preparer
Preparing your business tax return can be overwhelming, hence, the need to hire the services of professional tax preparers to handle your returns accordingly. Here is how to select the best tax preparer.
The first tip for choosing a tax preparation service is to ensure that they have Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). Do not hesitate to ask for a PTIN form your tax preparer which is obtained from the IRS. Another important qualification to review is their certification and education. In addition, you may want to consider a tax preparer who continues with their education every year. Lastly, it is a good sign if they are a member of any professional organization.
Use the internet to check the preparer’s history before you hire their services for your business. A good way of finding reputable preparers is by talking to friends and others around you who have used the services of particular professionals before. Another good way to ensure that the person having access to your information is trustworthy is by checking if they have any disciplinary issues or complaints with Better Business Bureau. You can verify the status of their licences with IRS for enrolled agents, state board of accountancy for accountants and state bar for lawyers.
Availability of the tax preparer is another crucial thing to consider when you are making your decision. A good preparer will be available even when the tax season is over. Also, you want to be sure that you will be able to reach the preparer at any time even after the due date of filing your return.
When it comes to choosing a tax preparer, experience matters, hence, inquire how long they have been in business. You can also determine their experience by inquiring how many business returns they handle in a year. Besides, a tax preparer who is experienced will be familiar with the current tax codes so that they can be able to handle your return as required.
Before you make any hiring decision, it is important to inquire what services are included as well as their fees. Some preparers offer services such as tax returns, audit services while others will offer guidance on how to prepare the returns on your own. Be vigilant of preparers who base their fee on a proportion of your refund.
Look for preparers who ask to see your receipts and records and ask financial questions. Do not consider a preparer who is looking to e-file your return by using your last pay stub and not your Form W-2.
Information about your income and investment is very sensitive and when it is not well protected, it could lead to fraudulent activities, hence, inquire about their security procedures. Along with ensuring that the preparer is trustworthy, also ensure that they follow IRS security measures to protect the information from third-party hackers.