Preparing for Tax Preparation
Being prepared for your tax appointment can really pay off in
terms of maximizing deductions and minimizing tax as well as
lowering fees charged by your preparer! Additionally, you should
be able to walk away from your tax appointment with peace of
mind that your returns are complete and accurate and maybe even
with some tax savings advice that you can really use.
Finding a Preparer
First of all, finding a tax professional to work with is a very
important decision. A tax professional is not only a tax
preparer, but someone who can provide you with advice on tax
issues and assist you with tax planning. You want to find
someone who is not only professional and competent, but who is
also a good fit for you and your specific needs.
Selecting a preparer solely based on price is not necessarily in
your best interest. Preparers who are preparing many returns at
lower prices may be more concerned with the quantity of returns
prepared than the quality of the returns prepared. Returns that
are rushed through may have errors or omissions which you are
ultimately responsible for. A thorough, accurate return where
deductions have been maximized legitimately should be your
primary tax preparation goal.
If possible, it is best to assess your situation and look for a
preparer early. This will allow you more time to find a preparer
that is a good fit for you and to possibly even take advantage
of a tax planning consultation that could save you more money in
taxes. Keep in mind that if you wait to call around until tax
season (mid-January through mid-April), it may be challenging to
find someone who will be willing or able to speak with you over
the phone in much detail about your specific situation.
If you find that it is tax season already and you have not
decided on the tax professional that you will be using, there
are a few ways that you can find out more about some of them
without taking up much of their time on the phone. If you have
access to the Internet, you can check out websites of local tax
professionals to find out more about their businesses, their
credentials, and the services that they offer. You can also
check with family and friends to get some referrals.
One last point about finding a tax preparer that you really need