It’s tax season. Are you ready for it? For many people, it might be advantageous to use a tax preparation service to help them with their return. There are a number of reasons why you might want to use a tax preparer, but it’s important to keep strict criteria for choosing one. When you choose to use a tax preparer, you are putting your trust in them with your finances. You are legally responsible for your return even if it is prepared by someone else. With that in mind, here are a few helpful tips to ensure that you find a good tax preparer:
Make Sure He or She Has the Basic Qualifications: Anybody who says that they are a tax preparer will need to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). In addition to that, the IRS recommends that all individuals ensure that their tax preparers have ongoing education on tax preparation and is affiliated with a professional organization.
Take a Look at Their Past Experience: Another thing you’ll want to do is ask your preparer for references. You’ll want to make sure that he or she has experience with the tax preparation that is required for your individual situation. It might be a good idea to check your local Better Business Bureau for further information on their certification.
Ask Them about Their Preparation Strategies: The last thing you’ll want is an audit. David Stewart says tax evasion is simultaneous with misinformation. Tax avoidance is one thing. If you ultimately lie though, it can cost you dearly in the end. It’s important to have a constant connection with your tax preparer to know how he or she is preparing your tax return.
Take Care of All Documents on Your End: Your tax prepare is only as good as how well you’re able to keep accurate documentation. Do you have all of your W2’s? Was there a life event that could impact you taxes? As you vet your tax preparer, it’s important to have all of your documentation in order to ensure that your search doesn’t end up in vain.
Consider these and other tips as you choose a tax preparer who can help you remain compliant with current tax laws and help you earn the best refund possible.