How to Hire a Tax Professional

Posted on 10. Feb, 2006 by in Taxes

Have your taxes become too much for you this year? Would you rather undergo a root canal than do your taxes? Many are in the same boat. The U.S. tax code has just gotten out of hand and individuals are more and more likely to pay someone else to go through the torturous arduous task of calculating income taxes.

If you’ve decided to hire a tax professional this year here are some resources and ideas that should help.

Where to Find Help:

  • IRS Website
  • AARP’s Tax-Aide Program: IRS-trained volunteers complete your taxes for you
  • CPADirectory.com: allows you to post questions to licensed CPAs
  • Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA): The VITA Program offers free tax help for low- to moderate-income (approximately $38,000) people who cannot prepare their own tax returns. Volunteers, sponsored by various organizations, receive training to help prepare basic tax returns in communities across the country. Check out the IRS website or my previous post for more info.

If you still think that with the additional helps from above you just can’t do it (or don’t want to) then it’s time to look for a tax preparer.

Where to Find ‘Em:

  • Tax Preparation Chains: such as H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax Service. These tax preparers are extensively trained and unless your return is complex, this is the cheapest way to go.
  • Enrolled Agents: certified by the IRS after passing a two-day exam and a background check. And they are authorized to represent clients before the IRS in the event of an audit. Leave your name and mailing address on the National Association of Enrolled Agents hotline at 800-424-4339. They’ll mail you a list of local agents within seven business days.
  • Accredited Tax Advisors and Preparers: take courses administered by the National Endowment for Financial Education and receive credentials from the Accreditation Council for Accountancy and Taxation. You can find either type of preparer through the Accreditation Council’s Web site
  • Certified Public Accountants (CPAs): pass state qualifying exams and fulfill other licensing criteria. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants’ Web site provides links to state CPA societies in your area that can put you in touch with a local CPA.

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. BeancounterBlog.com » Blog Archive » The Ultimate Smackdown: Turbo Tax vs. H&R Block vs. CPA - March 7, 2006

    […] You can watch the entire story here and decide for yourself which method is best. However, if you do choose the CPA route (which I would recommend) then be sure to choose one that you feel comfortable with. Get recommendations from friends instead of choosing one at random from the Yellow Pages. Also, be sure to check out my post on how to hire a tax professional. Whatever tax route you choose, good luck. […]

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