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Things to Bear in Mind When Choosing a Tax Preparer

November 16, 2011 | Comments: 0 | Views: 144

One of the most important things to ask for is credentials. Starting in 2011, it is now a Federal law that any person you pay to submit your taxes has a current Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. It is also important that this person is involved with some sort of professional organization that offers continuing education, and holds them to certain standards. Let's face it, tax laws change all of the time and you want to be reassured that the person you are hiring is knowledgeable and meticulous in preparing your tax return.

It is smart to do a little research and investigate the preparer's history. Check online and see if there are reviews or ask for references. It is important that you are handing over your financial information to a trustworthy person with an excellent reputation. After all, even though this person is filing your return for you, YOU are ultimately responsible should any questions arise or your return is audited by the IRS.

You also want to ask what the fee is for preparing the taxes and if that fee includes filing. These factors usually just depend on whom you are considering to do your taxes. A CPA is not allowed to charge a percentage fee of the amount of your refund. Some may charge a flat fee and some even bill by the hour. Sometimes extra services are offered at an additional cost. You want to make sure you know exactly what fees the preparer is expecting, so be sure to ask questions.

Be prepared to provide the tax preparer with all necessary receipts and paperwork. Whether you have a simple return or not, you should be able to hand the professional proof of your income and information regarding expenses or deductions that you are expecting to include on your tax return. You want your preparer to be equipped with all of the vital information in order to insure that you taxes are filed correctly.

Once the return is completed make sure you review the work. Make sure you are aware of everything that has been entered on the return and that the information is correct. Should any questions come up in the future, you want to know exactly what you filed. The preparer must also sign the return and include their PTIN number, which is stipulated by law. You should be provided with a personal copy of the return to keep for your records.

Filing your taxes can be overwhelming and tedious. The good news is that there are experts out there that are willing, eager and licensed to help. Do your homework. Thoroughly study all of your options until you have found a credible professional to help you with your tax return and filing.

Want to find out more about Nancy Froelich, CPA? Visit and learn about how she can help you with Tax Preparation.

Source: EzineArticles
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