Many people who give their tax returns away to be filed by a professional often do not ask important questions to find out if they in fact are as legitimate as they appear to be… This is surprising considering the private materials being handed over in this transaction – bank accounts, income, SSN, TIN, etc.
Things to Check Before Hiring Your Tax Preparer
Preparer Tax ID Number (PTIN)
Anyone who is paid to be involved in the preparation or assistance with preparation of federal tax returns must have a PTIN, and they also must put this onto your return.
Look for a licensed professional – CPA, licensed attorney, enrolled agent
To prove your tax preparer’s dedication to their excellence in service, look for someone who has taken the time to study and become certified, either as a Certified Public Accountant, an attorney, or enrolled agent who has completed the IRS Annual Filing Season Program.
Are they a member of a related organization?
There are various organizations that have ethics codes and requirements for professional conduct. Some of these include the National Association of Tax Professionals and the American Institute of CPAs.
Can they represent you in the case of an audit?
Make sure to ask! Preparers with only a PTIN cannot, and those who have only completed the IRS program have limited abilities. You do not want to be left alone in a bad situation like this.
Are they a successful business person?
There are plenty of tax preparers out there who only do the bare minimum just to avoid any chance of an audit. This is likely not in your or your business’s best interest, as the bulk of the tax law was written to save you money. If they really know their stuff they will do everything in their power to give you all the legal deductions possible.
If you’d like a well prepared tax prep professional to look over your tax strategy, contact D&M Accounting and one of we will be glad to help. We also offer other services like payroll processing and business accounting services.