Whether you are filing for the first time, have complex tax returns or simply want to maximize your return by taking advantage of any available deductions, hiring an experienced tax preparer can be a valuable asset. The best tax preparers are knowledgeable of current and changing tax laws, can provide excellent customer service and are committed to delivering a quality, efficient and timely tax preparation experience.
Most preparers start their careers by working under the guidance of an accountant, CPA or other tax professional. This allows them to gain knowledge of specific areas and niches within the field, which in turn helps them set themselves apart from other tax professionals in the industry.
The main duties of a tax preparer include conducting initial client interviews, analyzing financial records and compiling and submitting tax forms. They also ensure that all forms are filed in accordance with legislation and regulations.
Some tax preparers specialize in particular areas, such as interpreting partnership agreements or understanding and calculating deductions for self-employed individuals. They also have access to a variety of reference materials to assist clients in determining their tax obligations and providing appropriate advice for future planning.
Qualifications for a Tax Preparer
To work as a tax preparer, you must meet the following qualifications:
A bachelor’s degree is typically required to qualify for a job as a tax preparer. Alternatively, an associate’s degree in accounting or finance may be sufficient.
Prior individual and business tax preparation experience in a tax practice or retail setting is preferable, although some experience in a general tax prep environment is also helpful. It is essential to have an in-depth understanding of the federal and state tax laws, the various types of income, the forms involved and how to complete each form correctly.
Other requirements for a tax preparer include strong oral and written communication skills to handle correspondence from clients and tax authorities, an ability to audit all tax forms for completeness and accuracy, excellent customer service to secure repeat business, and a dedication to ensuring high standards of quality in all aspects of the profession.
The main benefit of hiring a professional tax preparer is that they can help you reduce the amount of time and effort needed to complete your taxes. They will be able to provide you with an accurate and complete return, reducing any potential penalties or interest charges and maximizing your refund.
How to Find a Tax Preparer
Many tax-preparation services are offered by large companies with local branches and online sites. Some of these include H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt and Liberty Tax Service.
These firms offer a wide range of services and competitive pricing, making them a good choice for all taxpayers. They offer in-person and virtual assistance, flexible scheduling and additional services such as electronic filing.