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tax professional

Who is a Reliable Tax Professional?

September 29, 2014

You have to hire a tax professional, but you may not know how to select one. Of course, you want a thorough, reliable professional to handle your taxes. There are some specific considerations that will help you make a final decision regarding who to choose.

There are three kinds of tax professionals that are suitable for most people: CPAs, tax attorneys, and enrolled agents. While CPAs are licensed accountants, not all of them specialize in income taxes; it’s important to confirm a CPA’s area of expertise. Tax attorneys are attorneys that specialize in tax law. They have completed a Juris Doctorate degree and must pass a bar exam in order to practice law. Enrolled agents are required to pass a specialized exam or have a minimum of five years of experience with the IRS. Also, they are required to attend ongoing tax training. Enrolled agents are highly knowledgeable in all things dealing with tax, but it’s important to inquire about their credentials.

You have to be careful when selecting a tax professional. Regardless of who will do your taxes, you will be held liable for the outcome. It may be a good idea to consult your friends and family when looking for someone you can trust. Also, online reviews of public accounting firms and individual tax professionals allow you to see client reviews spread over a length of time. Be sure to check reliable review sites, like the Better Business Bureau, which verify customer reviews.

Researching is critical in selecting the right tax professional. Every legitimate tax preparer has a Preparer Tax Identification Number which is verifiable through the IRS. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for references or evidence of experience. Remember that you have to trust them with your confidential information. Many people use the same accountant for many years. Such a professional may be ideal for you and your tax needs.

Tax season is hectic and finding a trustworthy tax professional which you can have a lasting relationship is difficult if you don’t know what to look for. Make sure you thoroughly research and evaluate your options before trusting an individual with your sensitive information.