How do you decide between preparing your own taxes and paying someone to do it for you? Well many times if your return is simple enough it makes sense to prepare it yourself. However the tax law is very complicated and many deductions are often overlooked so it often is a good idea to have an expert look into it. Finding the right tax preparer is very important. Once you find a good tax preparer you will use them for life!
Why go to a tax preparer? The National Society of Accountants listed 10 good reasons why.
10. It takes the hassle out of doing it yourself.
9. You don’t have to keep up with the many tax law changes or understand complicated tax law.
8. Making mistakes can be very costly.
7. Your time is worth money – add up the hours you would spend doing it yourself and calculate what that’s worth.
6. A tax program in a box cannot represent you in an audit.
5. A tax professional can answer your questions to help you make smarter tax-saving decisions.
4. A tax professional can help you plan all year and for future years.
3. A tax professional can recommend ways to save on taxes
2. It gives you peace of mind knowing that a professional is taking care of it.
And the number-one reason you should hire a tax preparer is:
1. It can save you money – if your tax preparer finds even one significant deduction or tax credit you may have missed, it can easily exceed the average $246 fee it costs to have a professional prepare your return.
However finding the right tax preparer can be tricky at times. With all the tax scamming going on today there are things you should look for when choosing a tax preparer to file your taxes:
1. Are they offering to prepare your taxes with your last paystub?
• If they use your last paystub often times some of the numbers differ from the numbers on your W-2 which could cause your refund to be delayed for weeks and an amendment may need to be filed. A professional tax preparer will explain this to you.
2. Are they accessible?
• Make sure you can contact them even after the end of tax season. Some preparers disappear offseason so if you need to retrieve any tax forms from them you will be in a difficult situation. Make sure your tax preparer is available for help, questions, and to retrieve information from year round.
3. Do they sign your return and show their credentials?
• Every tax preparer should have a Preparer Tax Identification Number issued by the IRS. Every prepared return should include it with the tax preparers information.
4. Do they promote how much of a tax refund they can get you per child?
• If the tax preparer has promotional material with promises of a dollar amount per child chances are they do a lot of Earned Income Credit Scamming and they are not a professional tax preparation company. It is illegal to advertise like that according to the IRS. They try and lure customers in with promising thousands of dollars and often times claim false deductions without the customer knowing which later will often result in an audit.
Hiring a tax professional is important because the tax law is very complicated and you do not want to overlook deductions and strategies to save money on your taxes, but just make sure you hire the right one!