If you need a tax preparer for your tax returns, it is important to choose the right person for the job. You might be eligible for VITA or Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program for volunteer tax return preparer. But if you wish to get paid service, be careful about choosing a qualified person who can manage the job in a more professional way.
What are the basic considerations that you must keep in mind while choosing a good tax preparer? Let me guide you in this regard.
Responsive to Requirements:
A good tax preparer is always responsive to your needs. Choose one you can contact immediately after tax return is filed.
Research on Tax Preparers:
Check with the BBB or Better Business Bureau to see if a typical professional has any questionable background. You can also contact the state’s bar association or state’s board of accountancy for the same purpose. The phone numbers of these organizations are given in the local telephone directory. Internet search will provide you quick result.
Get References from Close Circle:
If your friends and acquaintances have appointed a tax preparer, ask for their reference. If they are satisfied with the service from the professional, they might recommend his name to you.
Know the Tax preparer’s Qualification:
Before you appoint a professional, make sure to know about his qualification. Is he a Certified Public Attorney or Accountant or an Enrolled Agent? Only these professionals are eligible to represent the taxpayers to the IRS for every aspect of tax preparation like audit, collection and appeal. Other return preparers are allowed to represent the taxpayers only in times of auditing when the tax file return is signed as a preparer.
Know Fees of Your Tax Preparer:
A ballpark amount won’t do, try to get an accurate figure in writing for the tax filing preparation and related services.
Have a Healthy Knowledge of RALs:
RLA is a trimmed form of Refund Anticipation Loans. It is expensive and required only if you file your tax return online with the IRS. Full amount will be refunded from the IRS within a maximum time limit of 10 days and any loan fee will be required for that.
What you must avoid while hiring a tax preparer?
Avoid the tax preparer if you find any of these following qualities in him.
No Follow Up:
If the tax preparer does not provide any follow up support, you should look for other professionals.
False Statement in Tax File:
If the tax preparer is forcing you to make false statement in your tax file returns, you should not work with him. Exaggeration of truth is illegal. Moreover, he might try to explain that false statement will earn you more refund but there is no reality in such saying.
Has the taxpayer asked you to sign a blank return? Does he require the refund to be sent to him directly? Avoid him at any cost and look for others’ service.
Avoid the tax payer if he persuades you to purchase additional services. Extra things never come at free of cost; rather charge is invisibly included in the total fees which might be quite expensive.