There are many professionals and companies who specialize in tax preparation services. Many people will choose to use a professional tax preparer to make the process of filing income tax easier and less stressful. This will also ensure that the taxes have been filed properly, and will reduce the chances of being audited. Some people may also have complicated tax situations with income from a variety of places that require the expertise of a professional.
Most people want to ensure that they are paying as little as possible for taxes, claiming all expenses that can be counted as deductions, and receiving the largest refund possible. These are just some of the reasons why tax preparers are useful. When locating a professional tax preparer, most people will rely on referrals. Suggestions by a family, friend, or attorney are a useful way of obtaining the most qualified tax preparer.
Franchises, such as H&R Block and Jackson Hewitt, will have a full staff of tax preparers for hire. When working with these individuals, clients should ask certain questions up front to ensure that they are receiving the best services possible. They may ask what type of license or certification the tax preparer has. Especially if the tax payer has a unique situations, he or she should be aware of the specific expertise of the tax preparer. Tax preparers also charge fees for their services, and may calculate this in a variety of ways.
Some tax preparers will base their fee on the amount of forms they are required to fill out. This will vary from client to client. Sometimes the fee will be based on an hourly rate. A client should be aware of exactly what is included in the set fee. There are certain pricing techniques that not legal for use by tax preparers.
For example, a fee that is based on a percentage of the amount that the tax payer will receive in refund is not valid. A tax preparer cannot use a contingency based fee, or a fee that is based on certain information contained in the person's income taxes. It is also important for the client to be sure that the tax preparer has performed his or her services appropriately.
Often it will not be the tax preparer, but the tax payer, that is responsible for any mistakes made when filing returns. The client should be sure that the professional has signed all the appropriate forms, and has not left any information blank.
The client should know in advance what documents will be needed by the tax preparer. Having the appropriate forms and paperwork will make the process easier. The tax preparer will need personal identification paperwork for the tax payer as well as any dependents that are being claimed. This may include a Social Security card or a birth certificate.
The tax payer will also need to show all earning statements and records of expenses. Earning statements include a W-2 form from an employer, a 1099 form for any stocks and bonds, and statements from Social Security or other benefits. Keeping organized receipts will also help the tax preparer to perform his job as quickly as possible.