Questions Before Hiring a Tax Return Preparer
Several questions should be asked during an interview with a potential tax return preparer before you hire them. Depending on your responses, I can tell you if this tax preparation service is a good fit for your needs.
For What Number of Years Have You Been Preparing Tax Returns?
You might be working with someone who lacks the necessary level of expertise if their answer is less than three years. Hire a tax preparer who has experience in the field. The tax code is subject to annual revisions. Even more helpful is the fact that he is familiar with the evolution of these laws over time, in addition to the current statutes of validity.
Please Provide the Number of Tax Returns You’ve Prepared.
In this case, more is unquestionably better. Someone who has only prepared a small number of tax returns over the years likely lacks the experience necessary to master the nuances of the tax system. It’s best to keep looking if the number is less than a thousand.
Do You Prepare Federal, State, Or Local Tax Returns?
Depending on your financial situation, you may need to file a personal income tax return, a business income tax return, a payroll tax return, a sales tax return, or a return for a trust or estate. The examples are endless. If you are self-employed or own a business, it is extremely important to find a tax preparation service that has experience with your specific type of return.
Are Your Tax Returns Electronically Filed?
You should use a preparer who keeps up with developments in tax preparation software. E-filing has been around for a while, and it’s great since it speeds up the process of submitting tax returns. By filing electronically, not only will your return be processed considerably more quickly. But the system has built-in error checks that greatly increase the likelihood that your return is error-free. You should look elsewhere for a tax preparer if electronic filing is not an option.
Is There Any Sort of Assurance That This Will Work?
There should be no additional cost for a guarantee from a reliable tax preparation provider. If his error results in a higher tax bill for you. He should cover the cost of any fines or interest you have to pay as a result. You should pay the additional tax because you should have paid it the first time around if your return had been filed properly. It just makes sense that he’d do your updated return for free if he made an error that necessitated it. If you’ve been wronged in any way by a tax preparation service, you may expect them to make it right.