Finding the Right Tax Preparation CPA
The April 18, 2016 deadline is fast approaching. We will soon be approaching the height of the tax preparation season for anyone filing taxes for the 2015 tax year. This means that if it hasn’t already happened, you will soon find yourself bombarded with an onslaught of tax services commercials.
While many Americans handle their own filings, it is always advisable to seek professional help or advice. However, with so many businesses and individuals offering accounting services, how can you be sure that you will choose the right CPA firm or tax preparer? Continue reading to discover our five top tips to help simplify your search.
Review the CPA Firm’s Experience and Qualifications
Your tax filings are a key component of your financial health. The process is riddled with financial and legal implications. As such, the tax preparer or CPA firm that you hire must possess the required experience and qualifications. Before you purchase accounting services, remember to take care of your due diligence first!
The law requires that an individual offering tax services for compensation must possess an IRS issued Preparer Tax Identification Number. Additionally, the IRS requires that preparers do annual continuing education of at least 15 hours. Be the prudent consumer before hiring a tax preparer or CPA firm.
Look at online reviews, check with family and friends, and refer to the Better Business Bureau. Likewise, it is not a bad idea to consult with the various state boards that regulate CPAs. Of course, the best recommendations you can receive are the ones from past clients, so don’t forget to check the company’s website for customer testimonials.
2. Do They Offer e-Filing?
E-filing is now the preferred method of filing taxes. It allows for a faster and more accurate filing. There is little benefit in getting a tax preparer who does not offer this type of filing. In fact, before hiring a tax preparer, ask about e-filing. Most CPA firms and other businesses that offer tax services also offer free e-filing, but it never hurts to ask and make sure.
3. Not Sure? Ask the Tax Preparer Questions!
Often, individuals feel compelled to leave everything to the professional. While accounting is a highly skilled profession, there is nothing wrong with asking questions. More importantly, the right tax preparer should be in a position to willingly answer your questions.
Here are a few questions you may want to ask:
- How much do you charge and what is your preferred method of payment?
- Does your service come with audit assistance?
- Which professional certifications do you hold?
- Do you have experience handling returns similar to mine?
Any business or individual offering tax services should be more than happy to answer these types of questions.
4. Things to Avoid
Some tax preparers will ask clients to sign a blank return. This is not advisable, as you want to avoid putting yourself into a situation where you can be caught off guard. Hence, any CPA who insists on this practice should be avoided at all costs.
5. Begin Your Search Now
It is quite natural for us, as consumers, to wait until the last minute to do our taxes. However, keep in mind that the less time you have to search, the more likely you are to make poor decisions. You want to be in a position to take your time and do the necessary research, while also giving your CPA firm of choice sufficient time to prepare and file your documents before the deadline.
Finding the right person or firm to help with your tax returns for 2016 is very important. In fact, if your tax returns are not handled properly, you could find yourself spending vast sums of money trying to fix the tax firm’s mistakes. It is critical that you seek out the accounting services of a well-qualified professional tax preparer sooner rather than later.
Contact Ash CPA for Your Framingham CPA & Tax Services Needs
Ash CPA handles accounting and tax services audits, reviews, as well as compilations. With an accounting and auditing background spanning over 20 years, you can count on the accounting firm and it’s founder Ash Wasilidas to handle all of your accounting and tax preparation needs.
Ash CPA proudly serves clients in Framingham, Metrowest, Natick, Wayland, Sherbon, Hopkinton, Sudbury, and Weston so call us today at (617) 462-6651. Alternatively, you may visit us at:
945 Concord Street #100
Framingham, MA 01701
Phone: (617) 462-6651