Choosing the Right Tax Professional

estherTax Planning and Preparation, Uncategorized8 Comments

Choosing a return preparer before the next tax season allows you more time to consider the appropriate options.

Doing it early also gives you the chance to find and talk with prospective tax preparers rather than during tax season when they’re most busy.

Furthermore, it enables taxpayers to do some wise tax planning for the rest of the year. If a taxpayer prefers to pay someone to prepare their return, the Internal Revenue Service encourages them to choose that person wisely as the taxpayer is legally responsible for all the information included on the return.

Before choosing a preparer, it's important to do your homework.

Before choosing a preparer, it’s important to do your homework.

Tips on Selecting a Tax Professional

· Select an ethical preparer. Taxpayers entrust some of their most vital personal data with the person preparing their tax return, including income, investments and Social Security numbers.

· Ask about service fees. Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the refund or those who say they can get larger refunds than others. Taxpayers need to ensure that any refund due is sent to them or deposited into their bank account, not into a preparer’s account.

· Be sure to use a preparer with a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Paid tax return preparers must have a current PTIN to prepare a tax return. It is also a good idea to ask the preparer if they belong to a professional organization and attend continuing education classes.

· Research the preparer’s history. Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if the preparer has a questionable history. For the status of an enrolled agent’s license, check with the IRS Office of Enrollment (https://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Enrolled-Agents/Contact-the-Office-of-Enrollment). For certified public accountants, verify with the state board of accountancy; for attorneys, check with the state bar association.

· Ask for e-file (https://www.irs.gov/Filing/E-File-Options). Any paid preparer who prepares and files more than 10 returns for clients generally must file the returns electronically.

· Provide tax records. A good preparer will ask to see records and receipts. Do not use a preparer who is willing to e-file a return using the latest pay stub instead of the Form W-2. This is against IRS e-file rules.

· Make sure the preparer is available after the filing due date. This may be helpful if questions come up about the tax return. Taxpayers can designate their paid tax return preparer or another third party to speak to the IRS concerning the preparation of their return, payment/refund issues and mathematical errors. The third party authorization checkbox on Form 1040, Form 1040A and Form 1040EZ gives the designated party the authority to receive and inspect returns and return information for one year from the original due date of the return (without regard to extensions).

· Review the tax return and ask questions before signing. Taxpayers are legally responsible for what’s on their return, regardless of whether someone else prepared it. Make sure it’s accurate before signing it.

· Never sign a blank tax return. If a taxpayer signs a blank return the preparer could then put anything they want on the return — even their own bank account number for the tax refund.

· Preparers must sign the return and include their PTIN as required by law. The preparer must also give the taxpayer a copy of the return.

Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications:

To help taxpayers determine return preparer credentials and qualifications, the IRS launched a public directory (http://irs.treasury.gov/rpo/rpo.jsf) earlier this year containing certain tax professionals. The directory is a searchable, sortable database with the name, city, state and zip code of credentialed return preparers as well as those who have completed the requirements for the new IRS Annual Filing Season Program (https://www.irs.gov/Tax-Professionals/Annual-Filing-Season-Program) and have a valid 2015 PTIN.

If you’re looking for the right tax professional, call Williams & Kunkel today in Flower Mound at 972-446-1040 to have a chat about our qualifications and services.

To connect with us to receive updates throughout the business week, please follow us on Twitter or LinkedIn or Like us on Facebook.

Source: MVtelegraph

8 Comments on “Choosing the Right Tax Professional”

  1. You mentioned the importance of hiring a tax professional quite a while before the actual tax season hits. You would want to do this so that you have plenty of time to get all your tax information to the preparer ahead of time, so that you can get an accurate return. I’ve been considering hiring a professional to make sure everything I do is legal and accurate. Thanks for the great tips.

  2. Thanks for talking about the importance of finding an ethical tax preparer. This really is so important because of how much sensitive information they have to use to work with you. Doing your research on a company can really give you an idea of how ethical and professional they are, so you don’t have to worry if you do your research. I’m thinking of getting a tax preparer to help me out, this year, because I just don’t have time to do my tax return on my own.

  3. Taxes can definitely be an intimidating thing, and choosing the right professional to help can make a big difference. I would love to open a small business one day, and I can see why having an expert to help with the taxation would be crucial to a business’ success. As you said, it’s important to find someone ethical and establish all the fees beforehand. Thanks for these tips

  4. That’s a good point you make about making sure to review the tax return and ask questions before signing it. I’ve heard that using a tax professional to help you file your taxes can save you up to $1,000 each year you use them. I’ll have to keep this information in mind as I try to decide if hiring a tax professional would be worth it for me.

  5. I like that you identified some of the silly mistakes that can be made when doing taxes yourself. You don’t want to miss out on your return because of one of these mistakes. If you are inexperienced you may want to consider professional help.

  6. I want to make sure that my taxes get done. It makes sense that I could benefit from professional tax services! I’ll make sure that they have a good history.

  7. My cousin is looking to get help with his tax problems. I appreciate the information about asking for an e-file, so that you can be sure to get the return faster. Another thing to consider is to get a tax service to help you that is local. That way, you are more likely to answers to your questions faster.

  8. My sister needs help preparing her taxes. Asking about service fees is a smart idea, so that you can know what you are spending. Another thing to do is to get a professional that is local and easy to contact in an emergency.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *