Though this year’s tax season may be over, it’s never too early to start planning for next year (and all subsequent years, too.)
Many people look to a woodside accountant for assistance when it comes time to filing their taxes; however, often, people wait until the last minute to do so, or do little research and hire an accountant without fully understanding his or her credentials. Considering the fact that you will be sharing extremely sensitive information with this professional, such as your bank accounts, your income, details related to your family, and even your Social Security number, it’s vital that you make sure the person you choose to prepare your taxes is not only experienced, but is reputable.
If you are planning on hiring an accountant to assist you with filing your taxes, start looking now, before it’s crunch time, and keep these tips in mind to help you find the right person for the job.
Ask for a PTIN
Anyone who prepares or helps to prepar tax returns for monetary compensation is required, by the IRS, to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN.) Note: “for monetary compensation” – those who volunteer to prepare or assist in preparing taxes are not required to have a PTIN. However, if you are going to pay someone to help you with your taxes, you want to make sure that they have a PTIN number, otherwise you could end up being bit by fraud. Ask for verification of a PTIN, and make sure that the professional puts his or her number on your return – which is also required by the IRS.
Look at Credentials
It’s relatively easy for anyone to get a PTIN. To make sure that the elmhurst accountants you hire are reputable, look at his or her credentials. A certified accountant, an enrolled agent who has completed the IRS’ Annual Filing Season program, or a licensed attorney, are all excellent credentials. These individuals are required to complete various exams and take continuing education courses, which certifies their competency.
To find someone in your area that has the credentials you are looking for, try searching the IRS’ directory, which includes tax preparers that have both the PTINs and professional credentials that are recognized by the IRS.
Ask for Confirmation of Signing Tax Returns
All queen bookkeepers who are paid for their services are legally required to sign the returns they file. Make sure you ask prospective preparers to provide confirmation that they will sign their returns. If a preparer will not offer confirmation, keep on looking.
Ask About e-Filing
Any paid tax provider who files 10 or more returns is required to file electronically through the IRS’ e-file system. If the tax preparer you are considering does not offer e-filing, it could indicate that he or she doesn’t have as much experience as you would like, or worse, that the preparer really isn’t a professional.
Consider the Fees
Typically, legitimate tax preparers will charge you hourly for their services. If a preparer’s fees are based on the amount of your refund, or claims that he or she can get you a larger refund than someone else, these are red flags, and you should continue your search.
A trustworthy tax preparer will always be available to answer your questions or offer advice, even after tax season comes to a close. There may be times throughout the year when you will need assistance. You should be able to depend on your tax preparer whenever you need him or her; if an individual is only available during tax season, be wary.
If you are looking for a reputable tax preparer that you can rely on to efficiently prepare, handle and file your taxes, contact us today. Not only do we have extensive experience preparing taxes, but we will happily answer any and all questions that you may have to verify our validity. When it comes to finding a tax preparer, you want the best – and that’s exactly what we are, so call bookkeeping NYC today!