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Don't assume only big
companies need the services of
a tax preparer. Even small and
mid-size businesses (SMBs) may
not effectively prepare and
return taxes without help from
The significant benefits of getting your
tax preparation done in tax season
with the help of a professional are the
convenience and accuracy.
Think about the time and money you
could save from trying to follow IRS
guidelines and avoid overpaying
taxes while identifying tax deductions
you are eligible for.
Additionally, tax preparation software
always require some experience and
assistance with complex finances
and even with some simper tax
This all makes hiring a tax preparer a
smart move for your business
because they help you see the big
picture of your business finance.
But, how do you choose the best person when
so many tax preparers out there?
Follow these tips and questions that will help
you select the right prospect when choosing
your tax preparer.
Q1: What is your expertise and industry
knowledge of my business?
The first thing to ask a tax preparer is about their
expertise - what certification and specialization
they hold and what tax training and tests they
Each CPA is licensed by the state’s board of
accountancy to act as a public accountant.
Note that not all CPAs specialize in taxes, and they
can offer a wide variety of accounting services
such as auditing and financial planning.
The alternative is to hire an Enrolled Agent (EA)
who are a licenced tax practitioners and have
the rights to represent taxpayers before the
Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
Understanding the distinction between the
different types of accounting professionals will
help you hire the best prospect for your
It’s also important to take into the consideration
that every business has its own accounting
and taxation requirement.
So it’s good idea to choose a professional who
has a prior experience with the industry you
Q2: Do you have your PTIN
(Preparer Tax Identification
PTIN is a number issued by the IRS to the tax
return preparers which is used in the Paid
Preparer section of a tax return that preparer
prepared for compensation.
Anyone who prepares tax returns for
compensation is required by the IRS to have a
valid 2018 PTIN.
To avoid being ripped off, you must ask a tax
prepare about their PTIN in advance.
Q3: How Do You Determine
Of course, you need to know how much you'll
be charged. The fees of your tax preparer will
vary depending on how complex your returns
Try to understand in detail how he/she typically
bills for the clients. Do they charge a flat fees or
have some specific charge basis on the tasks?
Some will charge a flat fee and some will
charge by the hour. It’s good to know if they
have some discounts and additional services in
Q4: How Much of Your Time
Can We Reasonably Expect?
Ask your accountant/tax preparer how much
time your business can reasonably expect
throughout the year.
Ideally, you should look for someone who is
available for your business need in tax season
You also need to understand how quickly you
can expect to hear back in case a question
arises and what communication platform
they’ll choose to communicate – phone, chat
or a face to face meeting.
Q5: What Services Other Than
Taxes, Do You Offer?
You should understand exactly what are you
getting when you pay for preparing taxes and
what timeline is for each service.
Make sure to ask not only about services they
offer in regard to tax preparation such as e-
filing, preparing estimates etc. but also what
extra they can deliver to your business such as
financial planning, advising, investment
consulting and retirement planning.
For example, a CPA can help your business in
ways you never dreamed possible by advising
on taxes, financial planning and investment
Bonus: Some more questions to ask
Here’s a quick list of things you should also
ask when meeting with a tax preparer:
1. Ask how they handle audits from IRS
2. Ask how many returns they do each year
3. Ask for their clients and few references in
the industry to know their reputation
4. Ask if they have a website and helpful
resources on web
5. Ask if they have some reviews from
6. Ask how can you communicate a question
or a problem after tax season is over
7. Ask what technologies they use or
recommend to file tax returns
The list is long but worth asking because
choosing a good tax preparer requires a
good research and efforts.
And a good accountant/tax prepare would
not mind answering these questions. The
answers will determine if he/she trustworthy
enough for your business.
Ace Cloud Hosting is an Intuit authorized
Premier Reseller and commercial host for
QuickBooks software and a leading tax
software hosting provider to CPAs,
bookkeepers, startups and SMBs.
As winner of 2016 Accountex USA User
Favorite Awards for hosting category, we
provide secure cloud accounting
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Visit us at www.acecloudhosting.com or
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Also Check Out Some of Other Slideshares.....
How to Select the Perfect Tax Preparer for Your Business – Intuit
4 Important Questions to Ask Before Hiring an Accountant – Intuit
11 Questions To Ask When Hiring A Tax Preparer – Forbes
Why Choose CPAs as Your Business Advisor – Ace Cloud Hosting
The Pros and Cons of Professional Tax Preparation - IRS
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