Top Five Things To Look For When Hiring A Tax Preparer

Christopher Kusper |

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Tax season is one part of the year that people don’t look forward to. Primarily, the reason is that whether you’re a business owner or as an individual, you are required to file income tax returns, which can be quite a stressful and frustrating time for you, if you’ve not updated your books.

In most cases, you will need to rely on a professional tax preparer. Your return will be worked on together by you and the preparer. Once complete the taxpayer and tax preparer will sign the return before submitting it electronically. For this to go as smoothly as possible, you need to find an efficient and trustworthy professional as you will be sharing a lot of essential details about your financial situation.  

Picking a professional that matches your requirements from the pool of experts available can be quite a task. To help make your search easier and help you find someone you can trust, here’s a list of the top five things to look for in a tax preparer.

1. Positive recommendations and reviews.

It’s always advisable to research a tax preparer thoroughly before hiring him or her. Check if there is any sort of information available about them online, any reviews or recommendations. If online reviews suggest that they were able to help clients in filing tax returns professionally, chances are they will be a competent tax preparer. Apart from online reviews, you could even check personally with some of their past clients, and learn their opinion of their services.

2. Experience.

The job of a tax preparer is such that no matter how much theoretical knowledge they may possess, their real learning will happen only when they start working. Therefore, it is worthwhile checking for many how years a tax preparer has been in this line of business. Every tax return is unique in a way and poses a challenge, and only an experienced tax preparer knows how to file a tax return correctly.

3. Availability.

It’s imperative for a tax preparer to be available when a client wants to discuss certain doubts. If it is not possible for them to be available in person, then they should be accessible on the phone and via e-mails. Keep in mind that you as a client will share some very private information about your personal and professional affairs with a tax preparer. Therefore, it is mandatory for them to be available to win your confidence.

4. Compatible.

A tax preparer may be knowledgeable, but if he or she is not compatible with you, they will not be able to help you. It’s essential that the way they go about their work and the manner in which they communicate be conducive to you. While filing tax returns, you may have to face regulators. In such a situation, it is vital to have a compatible tax preparer, who is at your wavelength.

5. Suitably located.

A tax preparer should be located such that it shouldn’t take too much time for you to commute to their office. Filing of tax returns is a time-bound obligation, and it will not serve your purpose if you are spending too much time commuting. If they are not local, a longer commute can still make sense for the right tax preparer.

If you’re looking for the best tax preparation and bookkeeping firm in Chicago, reach out to Federated Tax Service, Inc. For more than twenty years, we have been helping our clients in preparing tax returns and also in tailoring tax saving strategies to their personal and business needs. We’re the go-to professionals for bookkeeping, payroll and tax services across Burbank, Justice, Oak Lawn, Palos Hills, Bridgeview, Hickory Hills, Orland Park, Homer Glen, Lemont, Lockport, Worth and the surrounding areas.

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