The period to declare taxes for 2017 is underway and it is recommended that you take a break and review the documentation that you have to make your report with the Internal Revenue Department.
The complexity of taxes is based on the extensive Internal Revenue Code and every tax professional must read them to avoid unnecessary fines, both for taxpayers and professionals. It is the duty of the professional to be aware of the change of laws in order to implement them and provide a high quality service to the client.
Keeping in mind all of the above, it is good to plan and schedule your appointment in advance with your tax preparer. Ask questions to find out how he/she has been prepared for this season.
Ask your preparer if they are up to date with all the changes this year; if they have a license to act as tax preparer; how they got the education to continue with their license, and if in case of being represented by them, what is their limitation for representation before the IRS. The more information you get from your preparer, more comfortable you will feel.
Here we present the different options so you can choose the best candidate to entrust the preparation of your taxes.
How do you find someone you can trust? How much will it cost?
The first option for preparing your taxes is a registered Agent or EA. The EAs do a test to register with the IRS. They specialize in taxes and can represent you at all levels with the IRS. Their tax education is very extensive and is an indispensable requirement for the IRS to maintain their license with the federal government. Their rate range will depend on what you need them to do.
The second option can be a CPA (Certified Public Accountant), who has a college degree in Accounting, takes an exam and must meet state requirements to maintain a license. A CPA can do everything a bookkeeper or accountant can do, but can also perform limited audits or reviews to ensure there are no inaccuracies or significant omissions in your financial reports.
The third option can be a tax preparer who is a Participant in the annual filing season program: this voluntary program recognizes the efforts of tax preparers who generally are not attorneys, certified public accountants or enrolled agents.