|If you elect to have your tax returns prepared
by someone else, keep in mind
tht in most
states, there is no licensing
or other qualification
required to be a "tax preparer."
Here are some pointers that may
- You should consider that person's level of
qualifications and experience. Your cousin's
second uncle may offer an attractive price,
but how skilled are they at preparing returns
- Look for related qualifications. Generally,
your safest bet is a CPA (Certified Public
Accountant), who should be abreast of the
latest changes in tax laws. Note that many
CPAs now use software packages themselves
to expedite their work and to aid in record
- Understand who will actually do the work.
If you go to a firm that hires seasonal workers
and puts them through a crash course in tax
preparation, you should not expect a very
high level of expertise in obscure areas
of the tax code..
- Whenever you hire a preparer, be sure you
understand what guarantees,
if any, that
person (or the firm for which
he or she works)
extends to you, and then get
in writing. For example, if
a mistake on
their part winds up causing
interest for underpayment of
taxes, or missed
deductions, will they compensate
lost or incurred interest)?
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