The IRS reminds those who haven’t filed their 2021 tax returns yet that they may file electronically when ready instead of waiting until the October 17, 2022, extension deadline. If you’re considering hiring a tax professional to help prepare your taxes, however, it’s important to choose wisely. There are different types of preparers (CPAs, tax attorneys, etc.) and which one you choose will depend on your specific needs. Keep in mind that you are still personally responsible for all the information included on your tax return, regardless of who you pay to complete it. Before you hire anyone, be sure to review these tips from the IRS.
7 Things to Consider Before Hiring a Tax Preparer
- Check the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers. This public directory can help you find a tax preparer with specific qualifications. It’s important to note that all tax return preparers are not included in this directory. It only contains those with a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) who hold a professional credential or have obtained an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion from the IRS.
- Check With the BBB. It’s always a good idea to check with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) to see if there are any disciplinary actions. For CPAs, you should check with the State Board of Accountancy. Check with the State Bar Association for attorneys, and for enrolled agents, you can verify the agent’s status on IRS.gov.
- Ask about fees. Avoid tax preparers who base their fees on a percentage of your refund or who offer to deposit your refund into their financial accounts. You should also be wary of anyone who claims they can get you a bigger refund than their competitors.
- Ask about e-file. Be sure your tax preparer uses e-file, if you anticipate a refund. The IRS will issue most tax refunds within 21 days if your return is filed electronically and you choose direct deposit.
- Confirm availability. Avoid fly-by-night tax preparation businesses. Select a tax business that will be available year-round to answer any questions you may have after filing your returns. For example, Tax Defense Network has been in business since 2007 and has an A+ rating with the BBB. You can reach us by phone, online form, email, and text!
- Make sure the preparer signs and includes their PTIN. Your paid tax preparer must have a PTIN. Be sure they sign your tax return and include the PTIN on it.
- Understand the preparer’s credentials. Not all tax preparers have the same credentials. Enrolled agents, CPAs, and attorneys have unlimited practice rights and can represent you on any tax matter before the IRS. Tax return preparers, however, have limited practice rights and may only represent you if they prepared and signed your tax return. They are also limited to representing you for exams, customer service inquiries, or Taxpayer Advocate Service inquiries.
Need a Trusted Tax Preparer?
At Tax Defense Network, we employ a variety of different tax preparers, including tax advisors, analysts, CPAs, enrolled agents, and attorneys. Depending on the complexity of your case, you may work with one or more of these tax professionals. For nearly two decades, we have helped thousands of taxpayers get relief from unfiled tax returns, wage garnishment, back taxes, and more. To learn more about our services and fees, call 855-476-6920 to schedule a free consultation today!