Choosing the Best Tax Preparation Service for You
Making sure you have paid the government what you owe is important. If you do not, you could confront serious fines or already jail time. If you arent comfortable doing the paperwork yourself, you should find a tax preparation service to do it for you. How do you choose the right one?
Ask About Continuing Education
The IRS has instituted the Annual Filing Season Program, which is a voluntary continuing education program. It is open to any preparer, but it is targeted for those who dont get their credentials by specialized associations. Before you hire someone to prepare your return, check to see what certifications they keep up and if they are taking continuing education courses.
Ask About Preparer Tax Identification Number and Who Signs the Return
When you are trying to determine who should work on your IRS forms, ask about their PTIN. This number must be valid in order to prepare federal paperwork legally for compensation. You dont want to find out after the fact that they dont have a number or its not valid for the year.
Because the PTIN is so important, be sure to ask who is going to be signing the return. Dont work with a person who refuses to sign. You should also be cautious of any company that wont tell you in improvement who is going to be working on your paperwork.
Ask What kind of Returns They Usually Prepare
Its no secret that there are many different types of tax forms. You may only be familiar with the one you have to file each year. The same can be said for some certified public accountants. A long time handler, however, will be familiar with a wide range of forms. Dont be afraid to ask if the person is familiar with the documents you need.
Ask About Knowledge of State and Local Requirements
It sounds like a given that your preparer should know the requirements for the state youre in. However, if you have recently moved to a different state, you may nevertheless have to file in your former home state. Because requirements vary from each state, your tax preparation specialist may not know all the laws of the other state. This is an important question to ask if youve recently moved.
Tax preparation is a big job. You need to find someone who can manager all the paperwork both legally and efficiently.