Lodinews.com

default avatar
Welcome to the site! Login or Signup below.
|
||
Logout|My Dashboard

Questions to Ask When Shopping for a Tax Professional

Print
Font Size:
Default font size
Larger font size

Posted: Tuesday, January 7, 2014 7:49 am | Updated: 1:32 am, Wed Jan 8, 2014.

(NewsUSA) - Although you may not have received all of your tax documents yet, it's not too early to start looking for someone to prepare your tax return. Remember, not all tax preparers are created equal. So, when shopping around, ask yourself a few important questions:

1. What kind of tax preparer should I look for? Enrolled agents (EAs), certified public accountants (CPAs), commercial firms and seasonal tax preparers are popular choices for tax preparation. However, only EAs, CPAs and attorneys can represent a taxpayer before the IRS. The money you may save using an unqualified preparer could be overshadowed by the tax you may pay if the unqualified preparer is unfamiliar with current, legitimate tax deductions and credits.

Many states have no special licensing laws for tax preparers, but enrolled agents receive their authority from the federal government. They are "agents" because they are authorized to appear in place of a taxpayer in dealing with IRS audits, collections or appeals. Enrolled agents earn their credential by passing a comprehensive exam administered by the IRS that covers the broad range of tax issues that affect individuals and businesses, and how to represent clients before the IRS.

2. Is the tax preparer knowledgeable and up to date? Members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) are required to complete 30 hours of continuing professional education each year to maintain membership. This surpasses the IRS licensing requirement of 24 hours per year. Continuing education ensures that EAs keep abreast of constantly changing tax laws and regulations. Many EAs are also experienced in tax and financial planning, estate and trust services, small business consultation and more.

3. Is the tax preparer bound by any ethical standards? Enrolled agents are required to abide by U.S. Treasury Department Circular 230, which details the standards of professional conduct. EAs who violate the provisions of Circular 230 may be suspended or disbarred from practice. EAs are also subject to vigorous background checks before they receive their licenses.

4. What are your needs? Are you sure that you are getting all of the eligible deductions or tax credits? Perhaps it's been a while since you filed a tax return. Maybe you are one of the millions of Americans who started their own business, and this is the first time you are filing a business return. Enrolled agents prepare millions of tax returns each year and are an excellent resource for anyone seeking up-to-date information on all tax-related issues!

Call NAEA's toll-free referral line at 1-800-424-4339, or go to NAEA's website at www.naea.org to find a qualified EA in your area.

Rules of Conduct

  • 1 Use your real name. You must register with your full first and last name before you can comment. (And don't pretend you're someone else.)
  • 2 Keep it clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language.
  • 3 Don't threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
  • 4 Be truthful. Don't lie about anyone or anything. Don't post unsubstantiated allegations, rumors or gossip that could harm the reputation of a person, company or organization.
  • 5 Be nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
  • 6 Stay on topic. Make sure your comments are about the story. Don't insult each other.
  • 7 Tell us if the discussion is getting out of hand. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
  • 8 Share what you know, and ask about what you don't.

Welcome to the discussion.

Poll

Should graduations return to the Grape Bowl?

Lodi Unified leaders are moving Lodi and Tokay high school graduations from the Grape Bowl to the Spanos Center at UOP in Stockton. They cite limited seating, costs and unpredictable weather at the Grape Bowl. But others say graduations at the Grape Bowl are an important Lodi tradition, and one reason many supported renovating the stadium. What do you think?

Total Votes: 26

Loading…

Mailing List

Subscribe to a mailing list to have daily news sent directly to your inbox.

  • Breaking News

    Would you like to receive breaking news alerts? Sign up now!

  • News Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily news headlines? Sign up now!

  • Sports Updates

    Would you like to receive our daily sports headlines? Sign up now!

Manage Your Lists