Search

Need help with your taxes? Get a tax advisor

If you are looking for a professional to help you out, here are a few things to consider when choosing the right tax advisor.
tax-advisor
Need help with your taxes? Get a tax advisor
Before you make a decision on a tax advisor or a tax preparer, make sure to check their history and reputation in the industry.
In this article

Let’s face it, even if you know exactly how to file your taxes, it can be quite a tedious process. It’s probably the reason why a large number of taxpayers choose a tax advisor or tax preparer to help them file their tax returns. 

Top 5 tips for choosing a tax advisor

Look for credentialed tax advisors 

While this seems like a fairly obvious first step, you would be surprised at the number of people who don’t verify the tax advisor’s credentials. There are many who will claim to be experts but not have any proof to back it up. Look for tax preparers who have been certified by the IRS or a state regulatory board. Professionals with credentials validated by the CPA (certified public accountant) are usually a safe bet. Their certification implies they have a college degree in accounting, and also meet the ethical requirements to earn their license. 

Compare service charges 

Like you do with most goods and services that you purchase, make sure you do your research on the fees charged by the tax preparer. The cost of having your taxes done by a professional varies based on a number of factors. They include the professional’s experience, the complexity of your tax returns, and the state in which you live.   

An obvious red flag is when a tax preparer’s fee is a portion of your refund. This can make you vulnerable to some fraudulent activity where the preparer might make sketchy tax breaks to charge you a higher fee.  

Look into their track record 

Before you make a decision on a tax preparer, make sure to check their history and reputation in the industry. This is extremely important because you will be handing over sensitive information such as your Social Security number and your financial information. You can check their grade on Better Business Bureau and also check on customer complaints, violations, and false advertising. 

Get hold of their PTIN

If you are appointing a professional to do your taxes, ask them for their Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). The PTIN is a mandatory requirement by the IRS for anyone who charges a fee to prepare federal tax returns. If you see the phrase ‘for compensation’ anywhere, you also have to make sure they add their PTIN on your form. 

Confirm that they will sign your tax return 

This ties back to the tax preparers PTIN. The IRS allows any tax professional to add their PTIN to their client’s tax returns. If the person you plan on hiring seems hesitant about doing so, this is a big red flag and is most likely a scam to steal your refund. 

Other points to consider while choosing a tax advisor:

  1. Make sure they provide the option of e-filing.
  2. Do not give the tax advisor any of your sensitive information before you have decided to use their services. 
  3. Always double check your bank account number in Form 1040 before you sign your tax return. 
  4. When e-filing, make sure the preparer uses Form W-2.
  5. Do NOT ever sign a blank tax return.

If at any point you learn that the tax advisor you hired is dishonest with their practices, you have to report them to the IRS. Form 14157 is submitted for issues related to changes in your returns that you did not authorize, tax violations and identity theft. Also, check out Beem Tax Calculator to get a quick and accurate estimate of your federal and state tax refund.

Was this helpful?

Did you like the post or would you like to give some feedback? Let us know your opinion by clicking one of the buttons below!

👍👎

Author

Picture of Neehara Sanjivi

Neehara Sanjivi

A writer whose interests range from poetry and origami to neuroscience and anthropology, Neehara has a master’s degree in psychology and online tutors undergrad students in her spare time. Her life is overrun by cats, plants and the occasional flock of pigeons.

Editor

This page is purely informational. Beem does not provide financial, legal or accounting advice. This article has been prepared for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide financial, legal or accounting advice and should not be relied on for the same. Please consult your own financial, legal and accounting advisors before engaging in any transactions.

Related Posts

Child Tax Credit
Child Tax Credit
Here's a concise overview of the Child Tax Credit, highlighting its importance and practical implications for families in the US.
What happens if you don’t file local taxes in PA
What Happens If You Don’t File Local Taxes in PA?
Your local income tax depends on your age, income, and the state you work in. Once you provide all detailed data, a financial expert can estimate your taxes accurately. What happens if you don’t file local taxes in PA? Let’s find out.
What Happens When A Tax Warrant Is Issued
What Happens When A Tax Warrant Is Issued?
From potential asset seizure to damaged credit, there are many possible consequences. This blog attempts to answer the question: What happens when a tax warrant is issued?
What happens if someone else pays my property taxes
What Happens If Someone Else Pays My Property Taxes?
This blog takes a deep dive into the nuances of payment of property taxes and answers the question: “What happens if someone else pays my property taxes?’
What is a Tax Write Off
What is a Tax Write-Off?
Learn how tax write-offs can lower taxable income and boost tax savings. Let's explore optimizing deductions further!
What states don't have sales tax?
What States Don’t Have Sales Tax in 2024?
Are you curious about states without sales taxes? Discover how living in these states affects consumer behavior and business desirability. Let's explore the economics of sales tax-free zones further.
Features
Essentials

Get up to $1,000 for emergencies

Send money to anyone in the US

Ger personalized financial insights

Monitor and grow credit score

Save up to 40% on car insurance

Get up to $1,000 for loss of income

Insure up to $1 Million

Coming Soon

File federal and state taxes at low cost

Quick estimate of your tax returns

Get up to $1,000 for emergencies

Send money to anyone in the US

Save big on auto insurance - compare quotes now!

Zip Code:
Zip Code: