Steps To Ensure Getting Boston’s Best Tax Preparation Services
How much do you actually know about the U.S. taxation system? If you are a mere mortal like me, with no accounting, IRS, or similar superpowers, I am guessing you don’t know a lot. In any case, doing your taxes is something you cannot escape from.
Here’s a short explanation of this system: https://www.rpi.edu/dept/advising/free_enterprise/us_government/taxation.htm
Fortunately, you are not forced to do this on your own. Statistics show that around 60% of residents in the United States of America reach out to preparers to do their tax returns. However, while choosing this option makes your life a lot easier, you cannot just go for the first person that you stumble upon that knows a few things you don’t. And while Boston is brimming with experts in this field, you still need to find the one that is best for you as an individual.
First, you should know what services you should expect to get from a preparer. These are the persons responsible for calculating, filing and signing income tax returns, both for businesses and individuals. Furthermore, they can represent you during an examination conducted by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
How to Make the Right Choice
Considering the importance of information you share with the person that does your taxes, such as your Social Security number, your income and much more, you want to hire a reliable professional who knows how to get the job done. But, it might be a bit difficult to determine who the best person is if you know absolutely nothing about this process.
Given the above mentioned, when choosing your preparer, you still have to learn a few things on your own and proceed with caution to making a choice. The trick is to know which questions to ask before deciding. So, let’s check what the right questions are.
Preparer Tax Identification Number
First things first, you want to ask the professional for their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). If they tell you they don’t have this number, well, here’s some news – that means they are a volunteer. It might be a bit weird to pay a volunteer, huh? Since the IRS requires that the PTIN number is put on your return, you should definitely check for this before going any further.
Certified Public Accountant
Getting the above-mentioned number is not that difficult, though. This is why you should take your investigation a step further. For the best experience with tax preparation services, make sure to inquire about some more credentials. The best idea would be to get a certified public accountant (CPA).
Becoming a licensed CPA takes a lot of work. There are experience requirements to be met and exams to be passed. So, when you entrust your taxes to a CPA, you can definitely be sure that they know what they are doing and their service will be of high quality.
Availability and Reliability
When it comes to tax returns, you don’t want to be late. Establishing a good communication with your preparer is of crucial importance. Timing is everything, so you want them to be available when you need their services, or have a question. The best ones will respond to your e-mails and take your calls even after the filing season is over.
What’s even more significant is finding a reliable person. If your preparer refuses to sign your return and give their PTIN, then something must be off. Do not accept services like this and do sign a blank return. If you do, you are making yourself vulnerable to frauds.
One final thing to do before deciding on the right man, or woman, for the job is to find the one within your price range. Naturally, this service is usually charged per hour. Of course, the fee depends on what you exactly need done. Some things take more time than others.
For example, according to the National Society of Accountants, if the IRS is to audit you in person, the hourly rate of the preparer who represents you can go higher than $150. In any case, do some researching and comparisons in the Boston area, and then decide on what best suits you.
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