Also, you will be sharing very personal details with the tax preparer, which will make you deeply uncomfortable. That’s why the decision to hire a tax preparer cannot be taken lightly.
How do you know who the right tax preparer is? The skill of the person selected is important. You should make a thorough evaluation of their propensity to stick to ethics and their personality. Do they seem like someone you can have a good relationship with? Are they someone you wouldn’t mind meeting at a party or at a social event? These are just some of the things to consider.
Now, who should prepare your taxes? In case you have decided to hire a paid tax preparer, the first thing to make sure is that they sign the return and put their preparer tax identification number (PTIN) on it. This is very important.
The tax preparer is primarily responsible for the accuracy of the tax return. They must sign the return. However, do note that whether they sign the return or not, it is you who is ultimately responsible for the accuracy of the items reported on the tax return. That is why it is important that you should only hire the most competent tax return preparer.
You should check if the tax preparer hired by you has a valid a Personal Taxpreparer Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the IRS or not. It does not matter where they have got their license from, whether from the state board or from the Treasury Department, the important thing is that they should have a proper Personal Taxpreparer Identification Number (PTIN) issued by the IRS with them.
Do check out this like from the IRS website to see if the tax preparer you are considering hiring has a PTIN or not: http://irs.treasury.gov/rpo/rpo.jsf
You should ask the tax preparer certain basic questions before hiring them such as, they are able to give you a list of references which you can call to validate their credentials?
There are some tax preparers who promise to get you a higher refund without even really looking at your financial information in detail. Be very wary of such individuals.
You should be worried if they ask for fees as a percentage of the refund or deposit the refund into their account.
Finally, find out if they will be around for a considerable time to come. You don’t want to hire a fly by night operator. Check their credentials in detail and find out what would happen if you were to get audited.
If you are a tax preparer or just someone who wants to do their own taxes, you may want to consider signing up for any of our cloud-hosted tax and accounting services. You will find them to be the most efficient and cost-effective ways to do your taxes/accountings.
2/15/2018 10:52:09 am
I found it helpful how you suggested asking a tax preparer for a list of references. This would definitely make me feel more confident in the tax preparer's ability to file my taxes correctly and make the process painless for me. How many references would you suggest I check up on before making the decision of who to hire?
6/25/2019 08:16:06 am
Thanks for the suggestion to check a potential tax preparer's credentials in detail to ensure they are legitimate and will stand behind me in a tax audit. My husband and I recently started our own company, and we've never had to file taxes for a business nor do we know how that will affect our personal taxes. Hopefully we can find a well-experienced tax preparer in our local area who can offer us reliable help!
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