You may have been doing your own taxes for years but have decided that it’s time to outsource the work to someone else. A tax professional can find tax breaks that you may not be able to spot on your own. They are also aware of subtle changes to the law that might otherwise take you by surprise. Some people are deterred by the fees charged by tax experts, but you can deduct the cost of paying someone to do your taxes for you. Before you decide on someone to do your taxes, take the following into consideration.
What Kind of Tax Professional Do You Need?
There are different kinds of tax professionals, and it is important to know the difference between each type. Certified public accountants or CPAs have passed state exams and have met educational requirements. You may find someone who has completed a specific program such as UAB’s accounting masters degree online or find someone has earned Northeastern’s online masters degree in taxation and infographic.
You could also opt for an enrolled agent or an EA who has a license granted by the IRS through an educational program or from working at the IRS. In addition, tax attorneys may also prepare taxes but more often they are concerned with sorting out taxation issues in court. Some people may recommend popular tax chains as places to have your taxes done, but if your issues are complex, it is better to work with an individual tax preparer.
Referrals and Reviews
One way to get the name of a tax preparer is to ask for referrals from friends or relatives. You may be concerned that people you know may be biased towards certain tax preparers, so you might want to find referrals and reviews online. Even if you trust the person who gave you the referral, you should investigate the tax preparer online. Visit the website and search for review sites that discuss the tax preparer. Don’t let a few negative comments deter you, but if you find the majority of reviews are negative, it may be a good idea to move down the list.
Questions to Ask your Tax Professional
After you have looked through reviews and verified the qualifications of a tax preparer, ask for references and make sure you feel comfortable working with the person. Ask them hypothetical questions about your tax situation to get a sense of how aggressive or conservative the tax preparer is. Get information about how fees are calculated, what data the tax preparer needs from you and what to do in case the tax return is audited.
Getting the Assistance You Need
You work hard for your money, so don’t pay more in taxes than you need to. Hire a tax professional who will give you pointers on how to save money on taxes and what deductions you can make. Look for a tax professional who has the right educational background, professional experience and ability to communicate well with clients. Go with your gut feeling before making the final decision and benefit from the expertise of a qualified tax professional.