The Basic Considerations for Selecting a Professional Tax Preparer

February 18, 2012 by  Filed under: Taxes 

Another tax season is upon us and taxpayers are deciding the best avenue for preparation of their returns. Most individuals choose professional tax preparer services to tackle the responsibility of properly completing and filing their returns.

Of course, many taxpayers already have relationships with tax practitioners. But selecting a new tax return preparer is common because making a switch is easy. Plus, unlicensed small tax practices are forced to stop operating by recent legal requirements. Tax preparers face mandates for CPE courses and renewal fees for Preparer Tax Identification Numbers.

Professionals with experience in tax preparation careers should understand how to create lasting relationships. Their objective is creating client loyalty. In addition, experienced tax pros want to grow by gathering new clients.

Anyone becoming a tax preparer for the first time has to establish an image that attracts business. Both experienced and new tax practitioners will find many people are searching for the right professional. The optimal choice for anyone is the tax preparer that best understands the taxpayer’s individual circumstances. Some tax preparers do not prepare certain types of forms, such as home office deductions. Others avoid taxpayers who claim the Earned Income Tax Credit.

Sound advice a tax preparer can render to prospective clients is pointing out the value of examining their prior year returns. Many individuals think they have simple tax returns but they really have plenty of complicated considerations. By seeing if they understand every line on their tax forms, they can assess the benefits of a professional with tax preparer certification. Expertise in distinctive tax areas is particularly important.

Tax professionals often must stress the significance of preparer knowledge. Too many taxpayers are concerned with price rather than accuracy. A couple hundred dollars is not unreasonable for an accurate tax return. But a smaller fee is justified if the return is not complete or accurate. People providing tax services without accuracy guarantees are cheap for a reason. Individuals that want to assure all income is correctly reported and all available tax credits are calculated will choose a true tax professional with a proper license and training.

Some taxpayers require more than preparation of their returns. They also need a little accounting help for a rental property or income from independent contractor work. Most CPAs and many Enrolled Agents provide such bookkeeping services. Holding such designations can help tax preparers demonstrate that they possess extensive abilities.

In addition to accuracy guarantees, pricing, and professional credentials, tax practitioners distinguish themselves in other ways. Some examples are offering extended office hours and year-round operation.

IRS Circular 230 Disclosure

Pursuant to the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service Circular 230, we inform you that, to the extent any advice relating to a Federal tax issue is contained in this communication, including in any attachments, it was not written or intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (a) avoiding any tax related penalties that may be imposed on you or any other person under the Internal Revenue Code, or (b) promoting, marketing or recommending to another person any transaction or matter addressed in this communication.

Fast Forward Academy is a leading publisher of education for tax preparer and tax professionals. Access to free questions for the CPE courses is available on their website.

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