Taxes are complicated. If you are considering getting tax help from an attorney or professional preparer, check them out before you decide to let them take care of your taxes. There are several questions that you should research before selecting someone to take care of this important fact of life.
First, is your potential tax advisor registered with the IRS? Each person who files with the IRS is required to register. Additionally, your preparer can register with professional groups which help beef up their credibility. There professional affiliations represent the respectability of your potential tax preparer because most of these groups operate by a code of ethics, and some require continuing education. If your preparer is a part of a group, then he or she is also required to follow those rules.
You can also find out whether a preparer has any complaints filed against them. You can check with the Better Business Bureau, who should have a report of their history. You can also check with the state’s bar association or board of accountancy to confirm their designation as an attorney or CPA. The IRS Office of Professional Responsibility for Enrolled Agents also has information on specific tax preparers.
Furthermore, consider who actually does the work that you need done because a preparer with less training may end up doing your taxes. Some companies also export the work, which could mean that your information gets sent to a country with looser privacy laws.
The way that your tax advisor decides on their fee could also Tax Advisors indicate the integrity of that office or preparer. Tax preparers who charge fees based on the amount of your return may be questionable because this may mean that they will bend the rules in order to get you a larger return, meaning you will get some money which you are not due.
In addition, you will want to check that their office hours are convenient for you. Sure, you have all of the time in the world right now, but what about in April? You do not want to have to shift around your schedule to accommodate your tax advisor.
Make sure also that you are comfortable with everything on your return. If you have someone who prepares your return and cannot answer your questions fully, you do not have to have that preparer file your paperwork. Additionally, it is never a good idea to sign a blank return or go to a tax preparer who does not want to see all of your paperwork. Remember, even if your preparer does not care about the details, the IRS does.