How to Find the Right Tax Professional

For many business owners, preparing taxes is one of the least enjoyable tasks during the year. While many single or multiple income households feel that they can prepare their taxes on their own each tax season, it is a good idea to think about taking advantage of professional tax preparation services. In fact, if you've ever found yourself wondering if you could take a specific deduction, if you could take advantage of other deductions you don't know about, if you could be paying less or getting a larger refund, or even if you simply wonder if you are preparing your taxes properly, you should consider professional tax preparation.

When you are thinking about using professional tax preparation services, it is important to think about what you are looking for from your accountant. If you would like to have your taxes done as fast as possible, it is probably best to have them done by a nationally recognized service that specializes in quick professional tax preparation. This type of professional tax preparation is designed to have your taxes done as quickly and as thoroughly as possible.

If you are looking to make a tax plan for the future, a licensed tax professional is the best option for professional tax preparation. You can choose from either a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) or an Enrolled Agent (EA). A CPA is an accountant who has passed certain examinations and met all other statutory and licensing requirements of a United States state to be certified by that state. This usually includes 150+ hours of business and accounting related college education in addition to a CPA exam that usually runs about 15 hours. Many corporate and small businesses use CPAs for their professional tax preparation as well as special tax circumstances like tax audits.

An EA is someone who has successfully completed an IRS test that encompassed all facets of taxation as well as passed a background check. EAs must also complete an 8-hour exam over the course of two days. Unlike CPAs or tax lawyers, EAs undergo testing by the IRS without intervention from a third party. EAs can also have their earned title removed by the IRS for wrongful conduct.

If you are considering professional tax preparation because of a specific problem, you will want to find a professional who is trained to handle your specific issue. As with any other product or service, professional tax preparation is available at a number of different prices and you should compare to find a fee that suits your budget. Not every professional tax preparation service will be able to schedule an immediate appointment, so your tax needs and urgency should be taken into consideration. Most importantly, when you are using professional tax preparation services, you want to make sure that your accountant offers you a guarantee for his or her work.

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Michel Valbrun is a Certified Public Accountant based out of Atlanta, Georgia. Michel specializes in Accounting, Tax Planning, and Advisory services. If you want to learn more about Michel, check out his About page.

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