Preparing and doing your taxes on your own is not going to be easy. It’s quite a complicated process for a lot of business owners. But this is one of those things that you need to take care of yearly. This should not add to your burden. And an accountant who can do tax returns processing for you is what you need. If you feel that need someone to do your taxes this year, then you need this checklist to help you find the right person to do the job for you.
Ask for PTIN
Before you consider a tax preparer, it is crucial that you ask for their preparer tax identification number or PTIN. This is a requirement for anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns. Volunteer tax preparers do not need PTINs. Only those who assist businesses and individuals prepare their tax returns.
Hire a CPA, Licensed Lawyer, or EA
If you want to make sure that you are hiring a credentialed preparer, then choose a certified public accountant (CPA), a licensed lawyer, or an enrolled agent (EA). All of these professionals spent a lot of time studying, taking exams, and undergoing rigid education. This way, you are assured that someone you can trust is the one preparing your income tax returns for you.
Before you hire a tax preparer, you first have to compare their charges. Remember that these professionals charge differently. Some would charge a minimum fee or have a set fee depending on the form or schedule that is needed in your return. Look out for preparers who promise you a bigger refund than others.
Confirm They Will Sign
The law requires the paid tax preparers to sign their clients’ returns. They are also required to provide their PTINs. If they do not sign, then it should be a red flag. Remember to never sign a blank tax return. This can be turned into fraudulent activity. Never provide your own bank account number unless you are sure that you can trust the tax preparer. Doing so can put you at risk of theft.
Can the Preparer Represent You?
And of course, you have to make sure that the EA, CPA, attorney with PTINs can represent you on audits, payments, appeals, and even on collection issues. Take note that preparers who only have their PTINs will not be able to do that for you. Choose those who can represent their clients in these circumstances.
Your company size does matter when it comes to online tax returns. However, no matter how small your business is, it is crucial that you take care of your tax returns. If this is not something that you can do on your own, or if you do not have the right person in your team who can prepare and process this for you, then it is best to hire one soon.