Choosing a tax preparer can become challenging. Your 2021 income taxes are due on April 18. At this point, you may have tried doing them yourself and uttered the words “I’m never doing this again!” You’ve decided you want to hire someone else to take this to-do off your plate. But how do you choose? Here are four things to consider:
Certification – Find a tax preparer who is a Certified Public Accountant (CPA).
Many people are able to prepare and file tax returns, but the gold standard in the industry is the CPA certification. It’s worth asking about the credentials held by the people who may be preparing your tax return.
Complexity – Ask a prospective tax preparer who their typical client is.
If her answer describes you, then she’s likely a good fit. The U.S. tax system is complicated. New laws are enacted every year, and it’s the job of tax preparers to stay updated and knowledgeable. You want a preparer that has experience with your unique complexity.
Care – Understand the services that a tax preparer will provide.
Some tax preparers operate solely to file tax returns each year from January through mid-April. Others want to proactively do planning for clients on a quarterly basis. Choose a preparer that will meet your needs and expectations.
Cost – Request an estimate of fees you can expect to pay.
While not necessarily a reason to choose or not choose a tax preparer, it’s important to understand what your costs may be. An estimate of costs should be provided by the tax preparer, but always expect that to be subject to change if the complexity of your return changes.
And finally, be sure to connect your tax preparer with other important advisors in your life such as your financial planning team and attorneys. Holistic planning is made better with a strong group of experts. White Oaks is passionate about creating connections and deepening client service by bringing everyone together.