Instead of hiring tax preparers who simply enter numbers into software, look instead for a true tax professional who prepares taxes and has the following qualifications:
- Is the tax pro licensed? CPAs and enrolled agents (EAs) are licensed in all types of tax matters. Very few preparers in the big chain tax prep stores are licensed or possess more than a minimal level of tax knowledge.
- Use only tax pros available year-round. Are you able to contact your tax preparer after April 15th or was he or she laid off from the big chain store after Tax Season?
- Choose a tax pro that can defend you against the IRS. CPAs and EAs are licensed to represent you in all tax matters for audits, collections and appeals.
- Your tax pro should also provide tax planning. A more favorable tax structure with the necessary compliance in place may provide you with a better tax outcome. Tax planning is beyond a typical tax preparer’s ability.
- Find a tax pro that can advise you through life’s transitions. Work with a tax pro who can advise and provide services in business matters, compliance issues, accounting, payroll, estates, trusts, real estate and more.
- Use a tax pro who understands your business. Business owners should work with advisors that understand your company’s industry, employment issues and the compliance required for your company’s tax and legal structure.
- Check for professional affiliations. Look for CPAs and EAs who are members of AICPA, NAEA or CSEA. Their members are held to a higher standard of ethics and required to complete more hours of continuing education each year.
- Check for complaints. Check with the Better Business Bureau and licensing groups to see whether any complaints have been lodged. A complaint doesn’t necessarily mean wrongdoing, but multiple complaints may indicate a problem.
At Incompass, our tax pros are licensed CPAs and EAs providing year-round advisory and services to help you through the phases of life and business. Our perspective encompasses the BIG picture, including tax planning, estate issues and business compliance. AND we can represent you when the IRS attacks.