POINTERS ON SELECTING A TAX PREPARER
If you are looking for a tax preparer, it is important to choose a skilled professional. This person should look into all of your eligible deductions and be less likely to commit mistakes on preparing your return. Many preparers can make themselves available in the event of an audit.
The following are some of the tax preparers suitable to your needs and complexity of your tax situation.
Certified Public Accountants (CPA)
Not all CPAs specialize in taxes. But some of them, knowledgeable in taxation, can work on individuals with complicated returns, including small business owners and people who need year-round tax advice. To those who need assistance about other aspects of personal finances, they can also consult a CPA since they are also a personal financial specialist handling all types of financial needs. To check the credential of a CPA or look for a nearest CPA, you may visit the website of your state’s board of accountancy or CPA society.
Enrolled Agents (EAs)
If you need a representation before the Internal Revenue Service, enrolled agents can do that. Called America’s Tax Experts, these agents are licensed by the federal government who can advise, represent, and prepare returns for individuals, companies, partnerships, estates, trusts, and other entities with tax-reporting requirements. Some of them are also CPAs, and certified financial planners and/or accredited tax advisers.
Accredited Tax Advisors and Accredited Tax Preparers
Accredited tax advisors tackle complicated tax planning issues, such as ownership of closely held businesses, complex estates, and qualified retirement plans. Accredited tax preparers have an extensive knowledge of the prevailing tax code and preparation of individual returns, as well as comprehensive 1040 issues including ethics, self-employed returns, and supporting schedules. Both professionals must fulfill the continuing education requirements.
National Retail Tax Preparation Companies
Several companies can offer low, upfront pricing for individuals and couples with simple tax returns. But for complicated ones, that might be quite expensive. You can find various consumer complaints in the internet, mostly about tax preparation fees.
When you visit a national chain, these companies may pitch additional products. Beware of that. for any financial-related decision, it is a big no-no to decide right away. It is natural for companies to sell more financial products to their clients to generate more income. But before buying any product, do your own research.
You can also prepare and submit your return online for free using IRS’ Free File software if you cannot afford to hire a preparer and your adjusted gross income for 2014 is $60000 and below. There are many tax software programs providing free federal versions to individuals of all income levels.
The AARP Foundation Tax-Aide program provides free tax counseling especially for low-income and middle-income taxpayers. IRS-trained community volunteers set up tax preparation booths nationwide to assist low-income taxpayers.
There is an appropriate tax preparer for tax situation. To find the right person, you have to do your own diligence and interview them to make your taxation hassle-free.
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