Credentials are one of the most significant things you should inquire about. Any individual you pay to do your taxes is required by federal law to have a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number, also known as a PTIN. Additionally, it is essential that this individual is a member of some kind of professional organization that not only provides opportunities for ongoing education but also holds them to a specific set of criteria. Because, let’s face it, tax laws are in a constant state of flux, you want to make sure that the individual you hire to prepare your tax return is well-versed in these rules and pays close attention to detail.
It is a good idea to do some research and look into the background of the person preparing the food. Check the company’s website to check if there are any reviews, and if there aren’t any, ask for recommendations. It is essential that the person to whom you are disclosing your financial information is reliable and has a stellar reputation. In the end, even if this person is the one filing your return for you, YOU are ultimately accountable in the event that the Internal Revenue Service audits your return or any concerns arise regarding it.
You should also inquire about the cost of having your taxes prepared and whether or not that cost includes the filing process. These considerations are typically limited to the individual you have in mind to handle your tax preparation. It is against the law for a certified public accountant to charge a fee that is based on a percentage of the amount of your refund. Some may employ a set rate while others may charge by the hour for their services. There are times when more services are provided, but they come at an additional fee. Ask as many questions as you need to in order to ensure that you have a complete understanding of the expenses the preparer anticipates charging you.
Be ready to hand over all of the relevant receipts and papers to the person who will prepare your taxes. You should be able to provide the professional proof of your income as well as information regarding any expenses or deductions that you are anticipating including on your tax return. This is the case regardless of whether or not your return is straightforward. In order to ensure that your taxes are completed in the most accurate manner, you want to make sure that your preparer has access to all of the pertinent information.
After you have finished the tax return, it is imperative that you check your work. Check that the information on the return is accurate and that you are aware of everything that has been recorded on it. You need to be completely aware of what it was that you submitted in the event that any questions arise in the future. The law requires the preparer to not only sign the return but also enter their personal taxpayer identification number (PTIN). You should be given a personal copy of the return to keep for your own records, and it should be handed to you.
The process of filing your taxes can be stressful and time-consuming. The good news is that there are professionals available who are not only willing but also eager and certified to be of assistance. Do your homework. Investigate each of your potential choices in great detail until you have located a reliable expert who can assist you with the preparation of your tax return and filing.