The title or designation of a tax preparer isn’t the only qualification you should consider when searching for a new tax preparer. When hiring a new tax preparer, look at more than just the letters after his name. A tax preparer’s technical ability with the tax law and compatibility with your personality are important qualities to consider.
Tax preparation includes more than just data entry. A well-qualified, highly technical tax preparer will be able to provide you with proactive tax planning strategies to minimize your taxes. In addition to being knowledgeable of the complex tax laws, he should be able to explain them to you in terms that you understand.
It is important to find a tax preparer who has the skills necessary to correctly handle tax situations that are unique to your facts and circumstances. If there are issues that make your tax situation unique or complex, ask potential tax professionals is they have a thorough understanding of those issue. If you own rental properties, find a tax preparer experienced at helping landlords prepare their tax returns. If you plan on staring a small business in the near future and will need business guidance, find a tax preparer who can provide with business consulting services as well as business tax preparation.
While the chance of being audited is pretty low (about 1 in 100), the chances of being audited or otherwise hearing from the IRS increase depending upon various factors, including being self-employed and taking large losses. If you fall in to this category, consider finding a tax professional skilled at audit representation as well as individual tax preparation.
Determine the compatibility of your personalities. Based on the complexity of your tax return, you may be spending a large amount of time with your tax professional. Learn about the tax professional’s style of working with his clients. Give the tax preparer a clear understanding of what you expect.
If you want to be involved through the preparation of your tax return, find a tax preparer who enjoys working with people. If you want to learn more, find a tax preparer who happily educates his clients on tax laws. Typically, the more passionate the professional is about taxes, the more likely he will be to take the extra time to explain things.
If you are the type of client who likes to call their tax professional a few times a month, find out whether he is that accessible and open to frequent communication. Some tax firms, such as StrataTax, are open all year.
If you absolutely dread tax season, you may be drawn to tax professional who will do your return with minimal communication or hassle. On the other hand, it may benefit you to find someone passionate who can add some character or enjoyment to your appointment.
To get the most value from a tax professional, enter into a relationship that will grow over time and adjust to your changing needs.
There are many tax preparers in the United States, but only a few that are right for you. Take your time when hiring a new tax professional and find one that fits your needs.
TAX ADVICE DISCLAIMER:
Please be advised that in order to ensure StrataTax’s compliance with the rules and standards required by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), we are informing you that any tax advice contained in this communication, including attachments, is not intended or written to be used for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed under the Internal Revenue Code or promoting, marketing or recommending this transaction or a tax related matter to another party.