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How to Select a Tax Preparer: Everything You Need to Know

Tax season is just around the corner, so it’s time for you to select a tax preparer.

If you’re someone that dreads doing their own taxes – as most of us do, then hiring a tax preparation expert is a necessary part of tax filing. Finding someone that you can trust with your finances that also has a good understanding of tax law is crucial. 

In this post, we’re going to help you select a tax preparer by telling you everything you need to know about the process. The right professionals are out there. It’s just a matter of knowing how to find them, so read on, and you’ll never worry about taxes again.

Look at Credentials and Experience

In order to represent you and your finances to the IRS, your tax preparer needs to be an enrolled agent, a certified public accountant, or a tax attorney. Other types of services can help you prepare and file your taxes, but in the event of an audit, you’re on your own. It’s best to look at credentials as an important part of the search.

Another thing to look at is their tax preparation experience level. Someone that’s been filing taxes for many years will be able to breeze through the process and make your life easier with proven tax saving strategies.

Ignore Empty Promises

If a tax professional is making big promises on the type of return, you’re going to see before they look at your finances, that’s a big red flag. No EA, CPA, or tax accountant can know what’s going to happen before they actually start doing the job.

Likewise, if they offer you what’s called a “refund anticipation loan,” run in the other direction. This is just a ploy to get more money out of you, and these companies prey on people that are in tough financial positions.

Reading Online Reviews

One of the best ways to find the best tax preparation candidates is by reading online reviews. A good reputation is important for tax preparers, so you can learn a lot by looking at ratings and reviews on the BBB, as well as listings sites like Google and Yelp.

Everyone has to file taxes, so it’s possible you might be able to get a referral from a friend or family member. This is a great way to find a tax preparer because you’ve got someone you know and trust vouching for them.

Comparing Tax Preparer Fees

Last but certainly not least, compare tax preparer fees to determine what the best option is for your finances. As a general rule, try to avoid the cheapest tax preparer because you get what you pay for.

That said, you don’t want to be paying too much if you’re filing your personal taxes since it’s a less complicated job than, say, filing for a business.

Select a Tax Preparer You Trust

Now that you know what to think about when you select a tax preparer, you can find one to use for years to come. A good tax preparer will make life during tax season so much easier, so use these tips and find the best one for your needs.

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