Tips for picking your tax professional

There’s that little coffee shop that is your favorite place to grab a latte. Or maybe you have a favorite hairstylist that is the only person you will go to after one too many bad haircuts from a chain salon. But what kind of relationship do you have with your tax professional? If you don’t have a favorite already, it’s worth your effort to find one.

Having some one that you feel comfortable with and trust is an absolute must when it comes to your taxes. Because of the IRS due diligence requirements, tax professionals are required to ask increasingly probing questions about your home and personal life when claiming certain credits such as Earned Income Credit or the Child Tax Credit. Even if you aren’t claiming these credits, having a tax professional that cares about you as an individual and knows your situation, goals, and needs, can help you do some tax planning which could lead to major tax savings over the course of your lifetime. Plus, it’s a good feeling to have some one you already know and trust in your corner to help you take the necessary next steps if you ever receive a letter from the IRS.

Some of my favorite tax bloggers have some really good tips for finding the right tax professional for your needs. (Links in the quotes below)

“You don’t want a know-it-all tax professional. It is okay for her to say she doesn’t know the answer and will need to look it up. This is normal! If the candidate never needs to research they are either a prodigy or an idiot and I’m not betting on prodigy.”
– The Wealthy Accountant

I couldn’t have said it better myself, Wealthy Accountant. Research and continuing education is one of the most important aspects of what we do.

“The key, as with hiring any professional, is to ask questions. Ideally, you’d establish a relationship – remember, you’re trusting this person with your personal and financial details.”
– Tax Girl

Even the IRS as a good list to help you find the right person for you and tips to help you avoid “fly-by-night” preparers or scammers who would take advantage of you.

Ask about Service Fees. Avoid preparers who base fees on a percentage of the refund or who boast bigger refunds than their competition.”
– IRS Tax Tips

7 replies
  1. Rosie Beckett
    Rosie Beckett says:

    I am thinking about hiring a tax preparer because it will save me time and money on my personal taxes this upcoming year. It makes a lot of sense that I need to look for a preparation professional who I can trust and that will save me the most money. In my opinion, I think it would be a good idea to interview potential professionals before I hire them so I make sure that I feel comfortable working with them and I can make sure they have experience saving their other customers money.

    Reply
  2. Skylar Williams
    Skylar Williams says:

    I agree that it is very important for a tax professional to be trustworthy and dedicated to their job. I would love it if I had a CPA that I knew on a personal level. My cousin just started a plumbing business and he’s going to need help with taxes and finances. I will suggest that he find one that he can be completely open with.

    Reply
  3. Randy Chorvack
    Randy Chorvack says:

    I agree that you should be comfortable with your tax preparer. Having a good relationship with anybody you’re working with is a good idea. It helps you work better because you can work together amicably.

    Reply
  4. Eli Richardson
    Eli Richardson says:

    My uncle made a mistake last time preparing his taxes, and I want to talk him into hiring a tax preparation service. I agree that you should hire a professional tax preparer that you feel comfortable with. Thanks to your suggestions, we will find the right tax preparation service so he can avoid making another mistake.

    Reply
  5. Sophia Slate
    Sophia Slate says:

    Thank you for your great tips on picking a tax professional! I am thinking about hiring a tax preparer to save me time. I will definitely keep all of your great tips and information in mind when looking for a tax professional.

    Reply
  6. Brad Erwin
    Brad Erwin says:

    It’s good to know that a good tax professional doesn’t know all the answers of the time and will have to look things up. My wife and I are looking to hire a tax service so that we don’t have to do them on our own this year like we did last year. I will be sure I don’t let a lack of being able to have every answer scare me away from choosing a good tax professional in my area.

    Reply

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