Why You Should Hire a Tax Professional and How            to Find the Right OneTips from Thomson Reuters and the National ...
What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?1. Credentials MatterTax credentials validate a preparer’s ...
What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?2. Is this person qualified?Ask the paid preparer whether h...
What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?3. How does the preparer’s trackrecord look?Check to see if...
What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?4. On what criteria does thepreparer base service fees?Avoi...
What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?5. What should be provided to thepreparer?Taxpayers should ...
What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?6. Who is responsible for thereturn?Even though a professio...
What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?7. Is the preparer reachable?“You sign the return, leave th...
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Why You Should Hire a Tax Professional and How to Find the Right One

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Tips from Thomson Reuters and the National Society of Accountants on finding the right tax professional for your needs

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Why You Should Hire a Tax Professional and How to Find the Right One

  1. 1. Why You Should Hire a Tax Professional and How to Find the Right OneTips from Thomson Reuters and the National Society of Accountants on finding the right tax professional for your needs
  2. 2. What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?1. Credentials MatterTax credentials validate a preparer’s experienceand expertise. Some credentials to look for areCertified Public Accountant (CPA), EnrolledAgent (EA), Accredited Business Accountant(ABA), Accredited Tax Advisor (ATA), andAccredited Tax Preparer (ATP). Somepreparers became Registered Tax ReturnPreparers (RTRP) under an IRS program thatIRS is no longer able to enforce.Having credentials typically requires passingexams, abiding to a code of ethics and taking aminimum amount of continuing education (CPE)every year.The IRS requires all paid tax preparers to Image Credithave a Preparer Tax Identification Number(PTIN), so make sure your tax preparer hasone and enters it on your return.
  3. 3. What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?2. Is this person qualified?Ask the paid preparer whether he or she isaffiliated with a professional organization thatrequires its members to meet minimumcontinuing education requirements and holdsthem to a code of ethics. Image Credit
  4. 4. What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?3. How does the preparer’s trackrecord look?Check to see if the preparer has a questionablehistory with the Better Business Bureau. Alsocheck for any disciplinary actions and licensurestatus through the state bar associations forattorneys, the state boards of accountancy forCPAs, and the IRS Office of ProfessionalResponsibility for enrolled agents (EAs). Image Credit
  5. 5. What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?4. On what criteria does thepreparer base service fees?Avoid preparers who base their feeson a percentage of the refund orthose who claim they can get largerrefunds than other preparers. "There’s a right way to prepare a return, so,it’s best to steer clear of preparerswhose pay depends on how big arefund they can get you.” Image Credit
  6. 6. What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?5. What should be provided to thepreparer?Taxpayers should gather records andreceipts ahead of time. Any reputablepreparer will ask to see them. Andany reputable preparer will askmultiple questions to determine thetotal income and the qualifications forcredits, deductions, exemptions, etc.“Getting all your ducks in a rowbefore you meet with the preparer willmake the process quicker and less Image Creditstressful, and reduce the chance ofmissing a tax break you have comingto you.”
  7. 7. What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?6. Who is responsible for thereturn?Even though a professional may prepare thereturn, it is still the taxpayer’s return. Taxpayersshould make sure they understand the electionsand are comfortable with the accuracy of thereturn before signing it. “A reputable preparerwill generally be glad to answer any questionsyou have. And remember – even though thepreparer signs the return as well, it’s thetaxpayer who is responsible for the accuracy ofevery item on that return. So, take the time to Image Creditknow what you are signing. You should neversign a blank return – or do business with apreparer who asks you to do so.”
  8. 8. What Should IndividualsConsider in Hiring a TaxReturn Preparer?7. Is the preparer reachable?“You sign the return, leave thepreparer’s office with a copy, and thepreparer e-files it. End of story? Notalways.” Even a perfectly accuratereturn can be audited – and that maynot happen until long after mid-April.An IRS audit is one of the moststressful experiences most peoplecan imagine. Your chances of gettingthrough unscathed are a lot betterwith a professional by your side. So, Image Credittry to make sure the preparer will beavailable for questions after thereturn is filed.”

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