It is in the taxpayer’s best interest to choose a tax preparer that best suits their needs. After all, responsibility does fall on the taxpayer for the information disclosed on their tax return, not the tax preparer. There is a large assortment of tax preparers available to assist you with your 2020 taxes, but are you choosing the one that is the best for you? Here are some various tips a taxpayer should investigate when choosing to hire a tax professional.
- Look at the IRS Preparer List. This listing of preparers contains those who are enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys. It also includes those who participate in the Annual Filing Season Program.
- Research the preparer’s history with the Better Business Bureau.
On the IRS website you can verify the status of an enrolled agent.
- Think and ask about the fees involved.
Be skeptical and avoid tax preparers who derive their fees from a portion of your refund or who offer to deposit all or some of your refund into their financial accounts.
- Be cautious of preparers who say they can get a larger refund for you than other preparers.
It’s important to do your own research because there are different tax preparers for different taxpayer needs.
- Ask if they intend to use e-file.
Electronic filing is generally more convenient than paper filing while also being faster.
- Ensure the tax preparer is available.
Taxpayers should inquire about the availability of their tax preparer as well as the firm and be aware of the times they will be around. This could be certain days, months, or even years after filing their tax return. The taxpayer may need the preparer to answer questions regarding the preparation of their tax return.
- Make certain the preparer signs and includes their preparer tax identification number (PTIN).
PTIN’s are required for paid tax return preparers.
- Research the tax preparer’s credentials.
Tax preparers who are participants of the IRS Annual Filing Season Program have limited practice rights representing taxpayers for audits of their tax returns that were prepared by them. Only enrolled agents, CPAs and attorneys can represent taxpayers on tax matters to the IRS. Find information about different IRS credentials.
If you are needing help with preparing your 2021 taxes or have any additional questions, feel free to contact a Henry + Horne professional.