Did you know that in 2016, Americans spent 8.9 billion hours on tax compliance? We’re sure most of those people didn’t enjoy those hours!
If you are someone who falls into this camp, you might want to consider working with a tax preparer. This individual will help you file your taxes, so that you don’t have to worry about making them compliant yourself.
But if you’ve never worked with tax preparers before, you might not know how to find a good one. You’ll be relieved to know that it isn’t too hard to find the right tax preparer for your needs.
Keep reading, and you’ll learn what you can do to find a skilled tax preparer that will be able to take care of your accounts, so you can focus on other things.
What Are the Benefits of Using Tax Preparers?
If you are nervous about filing your taxes, it might be because you do not know much about the world of taxes. Because of your lack of knowledge, you might end up paying more taxes that you should.
A tax preparer will be able to help you in a situation like this. Using them, you will be able to make sure your taxes are prepared in a proper manner. You will also be able to ensure you do not miss out on any potential benefits that might be on offer.
A tax preparer will also highlight any bad habits you might have, of which could get you into trouble. A tax preparer should be able to spot such issues in your paper accounts or your accounting software. They will be able to tell you what went wrong so that you don’t make the same mistakes again.
Find Someone Who Is Aware of Your Needs
If you are going to work with a tax preparer it helps to find someone who is aware of your needs. This means that you need to find someone who has dealt with people like you, in the past.
For example, if you are a doctor, you might want to find a tax preparer who has experience with doing the accounts for doctors. Because they’ve already worked on similar projects in the past, they will know how to approach your accounts.
If you run a business, it is sometimes not enough just to find a tax preparer that has dealt with other businesses.
Find someone that has experience with auditing business accounts associated with your industry. If you work in the IT industry, try to find someone who has done the accounts for other businesses in this industry. They will probably know what deductions you are entitled to.
Look for the Correct Paperwork
It is important you work with a tax preparer that has the correct paperwork. You need to check if they have a ‘Preparer Tax Identification Number‘ otherwise known as a PTIN. The IRS generally requires that anyone who is preparing taxes needs to have a PTIN. They will need to put this number on your tax forms.
You will also want to check if they have completed the Annual Filing Season program of which is provided by the IRS. This will ensure that they are competent and they know how to handle your accounts.
If you want a true expert, you might want to check if they have any accounting qualifications. This will let you work out whether they have had any formal education, regarding how accounts work and how they should be filed.
Speak to People Who Have Similar Needs as You
As mentioned, it helps to find a tax preparer that has dealt with people in a similar position as you.
Because of this, you should try to find a tax preparer, by asking people you know, for help. You will likely know of other people that are in the same industry as you. You can approach them and ask them if they know anyone who helps with your accounts.
Use the Internet to Help You
If you are struggling to find a tax preparer, you can also turn to the internet for help. You should be able to find a specialist tax preparer by searching Google.
In some cases, you might not be able to find a good tax preparer that is local to you. This should not always be seen as a big problem.
You are only going to be filing your accounts once a year. Every time your accounts are going to be filed, you want them to be filed properly. Because of this, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem to travel an extended distance, so that you can work with the right person.
Pay Experts What They’re Worth
If you are going to work with an expert, you need to be prepared for the fact that they will charge more than a standard tax preparer. If you do not have accounts that are complicated, you might want to consider working with someone who is a bit more of a generalist.
But if you run a big business, with complicated accounts, then it is probably a good idea to pay an expert what they’re asking to be paid. After all, you never know how much money they will be able to save you. You also can’t be sure of their value, until they’ve spotted mistakes in your accounting that could lead to unforeseen expenses.
If you really want to keep your costs low, think about obtaining quotes from many people. This will help you find someone that can potentially offer the best value for money.
The process of filing taxes can be quite stressful. But with the help of an expert, the task becomes somewhat easier.
In this post, we’ve taken a look at how you can use tax preparers to help you file your taxes. It’s often a good idea to find someone who is aware of your needs. You should also be willing to work with someone who isn’t local, as this can give you the chance to work with experts.
You might be surprised at the cost of a tax preparer. But you should review this cost in terms of everything you gain, as a result of using such a service.
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