Published on 1/22/2016
Written by: Tim Dages, CPA, Stacia Getz
It is that dreaded time of year again. It is time to prepare your tax return. Your choice is to prepare it yourself or work with a paid preparer to complete the task. There seems to be so many options available and finding the right solution for your particular situation can be confusing and frustrating. There are commercials on TV and radio indicating that you can purchase prepare it yourself software but if you decide that your situation calls for some assistance and expertise you will need to decide if stepping into one of the tax prep chains is the best solution or find a local preparer to work with.
At Bogdanoff Dages and Co., P.C. we feel one of the most important aspects of the process in choosing a preparer is finding someone that you are comfortable with and trust. You will be giving this person some of the most sensitive details and financial information of your life. You should feel that the person will handle the information with confidence and care.
There are several designations that tax preparers have. Understanding these designations and the fact that all preparers may not be well versed in your specific situation is a key to choosing the right person to work with. Each designation carries different amounts of educational background and continuing education requirements. Some of the designations you may come across are Certified Public Accountant (CPA), Enrolled Agent (EA) or Tax Attorney. The actual real life experiences of the individual is crucial in whether this tax preparer will be a good fit for your particular situation and if a discussion on your particular situation is necessary. Although it may take some time to find the person you feel will work best in your situation, it is time well spent. A good place to start is asking family and friends along with checking on line reviews of individuals and firms.
The IRS urges taxpayers to choose a tax preparer wisely and provides tips in choosing a preparer which can be viewed by clicking here. Even though you work with a preparer, the return that is filed is still your return and you are responsible for the information on that return. This is why you want to choose a preparer carefully; one you are comfortable with and will be there for questions on your return after it is filed should they arise.
When choosing a chain franchise keep in mind the employee preparers only receive some preseason tax training and their software works as a guide through each return. If you have a relatively simple return, want a quick turnaround, and don’t want to pay as much as other professionals may charge, this may be a good option for you.
A certified public accountant, or CPA, has passed a state’s qualifying tax and accounting exam and can help create an overall tax plan to guide you through complex financial situations. A CPA may be your best choice if you’ve recently been divorced, retired, opened or closed a business or had any other lifestyle changes that significantly affected your finances. A CPA can represent you before the IRS.
If you would like to see if Bogdanoff Dages and Co., P.C could help you with your specific situation and your tax return filings please reach out to Tim or Paul for a consultation. We seek to provide you with tax planning ideas and strategies or business opportunities that enable you to recover at least the amount of our professional fees.