When I first started in this world of “entrepreneurship” I had accountant that didn’t file my taxes. That’s right, she DID NOT file my taxes. However that lead me to my current CPA who not only fixed the problem but has been working with me every since. (Pro-tip-you haven’t lived until you’ve cried in front of your CPA?) I help women entrepreneurs develop and grow their business and a huge part of that is having your back office together…including tax refunds. Below is some information about who can do your taxes and how to find credible people so you don’t make the mistakes I did. It’s lengthy but it could save you in the long run.
All return preparers must have a PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number, e.g., P00000000) –
Virtually all preparers must be able to file electronically (there’s a very small exception). Avoid preparers who claim they can obtain larger refunds than other preparers.
Avoid preparers who base their fee on a percentage of the amount of the refund.
Refunds should be deposited into your own bank account, not that of the preparer.
The return preparer must sign your tax return and provide you with a copy for your records.
Consider whether the individual or firm will be around to answer questions about the preparation of your tax return months, or even years, after the return has been filed. Look for one who has an office or who lives locally, and is available year round.
Review your return before you sign it and ask questions on entries you don’t understand. You’re not required to be a tax expert, but you’ll be responsible for errors that you should have spotted such as large charitable contributions when you told the preparer your only contribution was $100 or a substantial amount of underreported income.
No matter who prepares your tax return, you’re ultimately responsible for all of the information on your tax return. Therefore, never sign a blank tax form.
Find out the person’s credentials. Only attorneys, CPAs and enrolled agents can represent taxpayers before the IRS in all matters including audits, collection and appeals. Other return preparers may only represent taxpayers for audits of returns they actually prepared