How to Choose a Tax Preparer

A tax preparer must be chosen carefully, no matter what the person’s situation is, due to the fact that the Internal Revenue Service can call anytime.  As unlikely as it may be for the government to investigate someone’s taxes, it does happen, and having the right tax preparer will help to ensure a sense of security.  Many people know how to do taxes, but if there was ever an audit, they would have no idea how to handle their client that is being audited.  Therefore, much time needs to be put into finding the right tax preparer, and, once found, they should be kept for life.  There are certain criteria to remember when choosing a tax preparer.

1.  Tax preparers should be chosen based on their experience level.  Obviously, someone needs to prove the preparer right out of school, but it may not be the best choice.  Everyone needs to learn, but it would be better if they did the online taxes, and waited a few years to deal with people who come into the office.  The reason being is that, if a person does their taxes online, they are not looking for a specific person, whereas someone who comes in wants to see who they are dealing with.  Therefore, one of the best tax preparers to choose is the one who has a lot of experience, and it may be worth it to find out if they have ever dealt with an audit.  If they have, this is even a bigger plus and they would make a great tax preparer.

2.  People should choose tax preparers based on who their family and friends are comfortable with.  It may not be a bad idea to ask each member of the family, and maybe some friends, who does their taxes.  When a person has a list of ten or more tax preparers, they can then examine the list and see who may best fit for the job of doing their taxes.  References are a great way to know who does a good job, and who better to ask than friends and family?

3.  Tax preparers should be chosen according to cost.  Many good tax preparers like to charge a lot of money, especially if they are known for beating an audit.  However, many good tax preparers who are not known about charge very reasonable fees and are waiting to be found, providing sufficient research is done by the person doing their taxes.

Choosing a tax preparer is a big event and should be treated as such.