Choosing the Right Tax Preparer

‘Tis the season to begin thinking about our taxes. We are looking at the sales and making our holiday shopping list. Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday just slipping by. How many of you plotted out your shopping trips to ensure you got the best deals? Let’s ask you this, are you putting that much effort into finding the right fit for your tax return?

Let’s look at some tips for choosing the right tax preparer. I know you are still looking at the sales and your Christmas wish list. The tax deadline this year is April 17, 2019. That is just right around the corner.

  1.       Decide if you need outside help

This is where some do struggle and teeter on the decision-making process. If you are taking deductions and have more than one source of income, it is a good idea to bring someone one to help. If you are just filing as single and no deductions, chances are you may not need tax help. One can always do a trial run in advance before the tax deadline. If by chance you run into issues or do not feel confident, then you may need to reach out to a tax pro. Here at Flat Top Bookkeeping, we are here to help ease your mind in the process.

  1.       Finding the most suitable fee structure

Now let us discuss fees. There are tax professionals who charge flat rate fees, others charge based on the number of hours. This is where you need to decide if your taxes are simple, as it will help in the decision process on how many hours will be spent on your tax return. Do note, there are chances you could pay more with a flat rate fee than an hourly fee.

Let Flat Top Bookkeeping point out the fee structure you wish to avoid. One should avoid the tax professional who charges based on the percentage of your refund. The first reason to avoid this is simply they may act unscrupulously to get a higher fee. The second reason, you could pay more than a flat rate or an hourly rate.

  1.       Avoid anyone who promises a refund

Here is one to avoid, DO NOT fall for individuals who promise a tax refund. This is a promise that a tax professional cannot ethically promise. Each tax return is different. Which also goes to the state, that each individual fills out their W-2 differently.  So, any professional who guarantees a refund should be avoided at all costs!

  1.       Choose a professional who offers audit support

Now the chance of your tax return getting audited are slim, given less than 1% of all returns require further IRS scrutiny. Let’s say you happen to one of the lucky few who lands on the audit list, you may need assistance defending your return or addressing concerns the IRS has. Therefore it is very important to find a tax professional who is willing to stand behind their work. Here at Flat Top Bookkeeping, we stand behind all our returns.

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