There may no big deal filing your tax returns, but not when you have an endless stream of tax forms to fill and the ever changing tax laws to keep in mind. You may also overlook some seemingly not so obvious deductions, and it can land you in trouble with the tax authorities. You could do with a tax accountant, but you have to choose the right person for the job. Here are best tips for finding the right accountant to prepare your taxes:
Appreciate the need for a tax accountant
A series of tax forms and the changing tax laws may occasion a lot of confusion especially if you are not well versed in legal matters. The slightest of errors in your tax returns may have dire financial and legal ramifications. You forget to make one minor deduction, and you have to do the whole thing again, resulting in loss of precious time and resources. To avoid all these inconveniences, it is important to get a tax accountant to prepare your tax returns for you.
Tap into your online connections
Looking for a good tax accountant doesn’t necessarily need to be heart-rending. In fact, the right person for the job might just be under your nose. You can start by scouring social media pages for adverts or enquire from your legion of online friends for referrals. Apart from Facebook and Twitter, you may find online connections for LinkedIn quite useful. LinkedIn is more business-oriented than Facebook and Twitter, so you may want to spend some time here. Use your LinkedIn profile to search for accountants that have already been recommended by others.
You will need someone with enough experience in handling tax matters – a novice may be no better than you! Are you under an audit? You don’t want an accountant who has no experience in audit matters. You may need to look for referrals or success stories from the accountant’s previous clients. It may be helpful to contact an online search of the accountant, especially if they have websites. Interviewing the candidate will also get you the information you need.
Check out the background of your preferred tax preparer
The best place to start the background check is the IRS Directory of Federal Tax Return. It will return a list of tax preparers in your area and their levels of expertise. Ensure your preferred candidate has an updated PTIN. You will also need to find out if there are any dark spots in the accountant’s history. Have they faced any disciplinary action before? Watch out for red flags when you interview the candidate, such as boasting about their ability to get you big refunds.
Use your intuition
You have been in business for quite some time, and the experience you have gathered can help you tell when something is right or wrong. When you meet a new tax accountant, see if you can begin to trust them even before carrying out logical tests to establish their suitability. Remember, you will divulge very confidential information to this person, and you need to trust them first. If your intuition tells you otherwise, well, drop them and look for another candidate.
Enquire about their fees
The National Society of Accountants states that the average cost of hiring a tax accountant was $273 in 2014. The figure may vary, but the accountant, or their company, needs to explain the basis of their charges. Get to understand their fees structure, whether it is hourly or a flat rate charge. Ask about their fees during the interview or call to tell whether you can afford their services. It is unacceptable to negotiate the prices.
It is not exactly stressing to find a professional tax accountant who can file your returns. Check from your online community for referrals and conduct a background check for your preferred candidate. Trust your intuitions and negotiate the fees before you let them do the job.
For more information, visit: https://www.linghamscharteredaccountants.co.uk/.