When tax season comes, filling out tax forms for a business or individual can be a process you’d probably like to avoid. Because let’s be honest, filling out your tax return is complicated and intimidating for most people.
That’s why many people opt to hire a tax preparation company to help them file their returns. If it’s your first time, looking for a tax preparation service can be tedious, especially if you have never worked with such a company before.
Our article today is a beginner’s guide for someone looking for a reliable tax preparer to work with during the busy tax season.
Why do you need a tax preparer?
Before you do anything else, let’s first understand that analyzing why you need to hire a tax preparer is crucial. Such information helps you know what service you’ll be looking for while hunting for a reliable service provider.
The reasons why you might want to hire such a professional is if you need an expert that can help you:
- Update your tax information regularly
- Analyze financial data
- Understand and adhere to the tax laws in your area
- Compute and calculate the amount of tax you owe your government
- Maximize your tax returns
If you hire a good professional, the perks can be quite rewarding. For instance, you’ll avoid expensive mistakes, have peace of mind as you build your business, save money, and save time.
What qualities should you look for in a reliable tax preparer?
When you go online, you’ll find a variety of service providers around you. Trust me when I say hiring the best option for your needs and budget can be confusing. Hence, what qualities should a reliable tax preparer have?
- They should have the required certification from the IRS. In this case, they need a Tax Identification Number. Some states don’t require licensing, while others do. state laws to know what they need to qualify for the job
- They need to have the required experience and knowledge of the tax laws within your state. The expert should be an enrolled agent, attorney, or CPA.
- They should exhibit excellent communication (both verbal and written communication skills), critical thinking, and problem-solving skills
- They should be knowledgeable about the technology used in filing taxes, such as tax preparation software
- If you have a tax-related case, this individual should represent you in a tax court. However, not all tax preparers have this capability
- Since they’ll have confidential information on your personal and financial information, they shouldn’t share that information with anyone.
How to spot potential tax preparers to hire
One mistake people make is to settle on a tax preparer without taking the time to identify different service providers in the market. In short, don’t settle on the first tax preparation service you find online or physically. Take time to interview different companies because of two reasons – your needs and budget.
For instance, if you have a tax-related case, you may need someone to represent your case appropriately. Tax preparers who don’t have the required experience or expertise to do this type of job can make you lose your case. So, you can end up losing so much money and time.
The best way to spot reliable prospects is simple. Start by asking family, friends, or colleagues to refer you to companies they know or have worked with before. Alternatively, you can do a simple search online. You can read reviews that highlight some good companies you can trust. By the way, here’s the best tax prep companies you can trust.
As you read the reviews or get referrals from the people around you, take time to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each company. Check different reviews from different clients and if you find negative reviews, ask the reviewer why they think you shouldn’t hire the service.
Important tip: Be patient. Don’t rush into hiring any company because you could miss on a good deal or you could end up working with a con. By the way, reputable companies nowadays will work on developing a functional and appealing website. If it’s not, use it as a red flag.
Wrapping it up
That’s it for today. We hope this article offers all the information you need to hire a good tax preparation service. And remember: don’t ignore any red flags. Many people lose their money because they are not keen.