It is not too early to get ready for tax season. It does not hurt to have a professional at your side to ensure that you get everything perfect when 2020 comes around. Here at SmarTax, LLC, we have all the tips to help you with income tax preparation. We are conveniently located in Pembroke Pines.
Check Out Our Tips
About a third of us hire tax preparers or tax advisors to file our tax returns, but hardly any of us know much about them, or how to find the best tax preparer.
A full 80% of people who used tax preparers never asked about the preparer’s credentials, according to the survey, and about 75% never asked if the preparer would represent them in a tax audit. That’s insane, considering that hiring a tax preparer means sharing details about everything from your income, your bank accounts, your marriage, your kids, and your Social Security number.
Seven Tips To Know
- Ask for a Preparer Tax Identification Number
- The IRS requires anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation to have a PTIN. Note the phrase “for compensation” — volunteer preparers don’t need PTINs. Make sure your income tax preparer puts his or her PTIN number on your return — the IRS requires that, too.
- Require a CPA, law license or Enrolled Agent designation
- A PTIN is relatively easy to get, so go a step further and get a credentialed preparer — someone who’s also a certified public accountant, licensed attorney, enrolled agent or who has completed the IRS’ Annual Filing Season program. The Accredited Business Accountant/Advisor and Accredited Tax Preparer are examples of programs that help preparers fulfill the Annual Filing Season Program requirement. These credentials all require varying amounts of study, exams, and ongoing education.
- Look for friends in high places
- Membership in a professional organization such as the National Association of Tax Professionals, the National Association of Enrolled Agents, the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, or the American Academy of Attorney CPAs is always a good thing to have, as most have codes of ethics, professional conduct requirements, and various certification programs.
- Compare Fees
- Legitimate tax preparers often charge by the hour, so if you come across one whose fee is based on the size of your refund or who says he or she can get you a bigger refund than the next guy, those are red flags.
- Reconsider those who don’t e-file
- The IRS requires any paid preparer who does more than 10 returns for clients to file electronically via the IRS’ e-file system. If your tax preparer doesn’t offer e-file, it may be a sign the person isn’t doing as much tax prep as you thought.
- Confirm they’ll sign on the dotted line
- The law requires paid preparers to sign their clients’ returns and provide their PTINs. Never sign a blank tax return — the preparer could put anything on the return, including their own bank account number so they can steal your refund.
- Check if they’d have your back
- Enrolled agents, CPAs, and attorneys with PTINs can represent you in front of the IRS on audits, payments and collection issues, and appeals. Preparers who have PTINs can’t — even if they prepared your return. Preparers who complete the Annual Filing Season Program can represent clients only in limited circumstances.
Call Us Today For Tax Preparation
We are here to help, especially when it comes to tips on income tax preparation. SmartTax, LLC in Pembroke Pines want to ensure you are ready and informed when it comes to your bookkeeping services. Call our experts today for more information. We take pride in being the “best accountants near me”!