How to Find a Good CPA for Your Taxes – TurboTax Tax Tips & Videos

overview Finding a good CPA for taxes takes feat. Learning how to pick a CPA can be made easier by applying utilitarian tips and considering what you want out of a CPA .

A professional man in a suit confers with a client.

Key Takeaways

• Finding a good certified public accountant near you can help with handling your tax render preparation and file .
• Three types of credentialed tax professionals handle tax returns : enroll agents, CPAs, and tax attorneys .
• Enrolled agents and CPAs specialize in helping with tax return preparation and file, while tax attorneys provide legal advice and representation before the IRS and Tax Court.
• CPAs can provide a lot of services for you or your business, from preparing tax returns to offering fiscal plan and advice.

What is a CPA?

Certified Public Accountants ( CPAs ) are intimate about the tax code and can help you maximize your tax savings. besides, they can represent you before the IRS to help you deal with audits or collections .
To become a CPA, by and large, you need to complete at least 150 semester hours of college coursework before sitting for the Uniform CPA examination. typically, a college degree requires completion of around 120 semester hours, meaning CPAs tend to pursue a Master ’ s Degree or other post-secondary education coursework to meet the minimum naturally hour necessity. Some, but not all, CPAs have a Masters in Accounting or related field. additionally, prospective CPAs will need to take specific courses to qualify to sit for the Uniform CPA Exam .
The CPA examination consist of four individual tests you ‘ll need to pass within an 18-month window and cover a broad area of topics related to the plain of account :

  1. Auditing and attestation
  2. Financial accounting and reporting
  3. Regulation (taxes)
  4. Business environment and concepts

CPAs generally need to work under the direct supervision of another CPA with an active license, frequently performing at least 1,800 hours of employment ( or roughly one year of working full-time ) related to providing any character of service or advice involving the use of report in some states. This includes account services, management advisory, fiscal advisory, tax, or consulting skills .
due to the intense requirements you must meet to become a CPA, this license represents one of the most well-respected credentials in the business populace. Finding a CPA to handle your tax needs should help to answer questions you might have around tax advice and plan .

What should I look for to find a good CPA near me?

here are some helpful tips for selecting a good CPA for your taxes :

  1. Ask about their specialization. CPAs can specialize in a range of accounting areas, including business, government, and forensic accounting, as well as tax preparation. For preparing and filing your personal taxes, consider finding a CPA who specializes in individual income tax returns.
  2. Verify their identification number. The IRS requires CPAs who prepare taxes to register with the IRS and have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). To verify that a CPA is registered with a PTIN, simply search the IRS Return Preparer Office Directory.
  3. Look up their license. CPAs are also licensed by the state, so before hiring one, you can search their records with your state’s board of accountancy. Most states offer CPA databases that allow you to search by name and find important information on a CPA’s license status, issue and expiration dates, as well as disciplinary actions and suspensions.
  4. Consider their experience. While all CPAs are credentialed prior to offering their services, CPAs with several years of experience will more likely have a deeper understanding of the tax code than a newly certified individual.  Find out if your CPA has experience electronically filing tax returns. The IRS requires tax preparers who file 11 or more tax returns per year to provide e-filing services, so if a CPA doesn’t offer e-filing, they may not be very experienced.
  5. Confirm their willingness to sign. Verify that your CPA will sign your tax return and represent you before the IRS for any tax matter related to your return. If not, consider finding a CPA who will.
  6. Ask for advice. A good tax CPA won’t only prepare and file your return for the current tax year, but can also offer year-round tax planning advice to help you maximize your tax savings for future tax years.
  7. Consider their fees. CPAs can charge by the hour, flat fee, or other payment options based on the complexity of your taxes—how many schedules and supporting forms you’ll need to file with your return. Make sure to find out if their fees include filing both federal and state returns. CPAs aren’t generally allowed to base their fees on a percentage of your tax refund, so you may want to avoid this type of pay arrangement.
  8. Make sure they e-file. The IRS lists several reasons why you should e-file your federal tax return. Chief among them are to ensure better accuracy and completeness for your return, but also because it adds safety and security for your information and results in faster refunds if you’re due one.
  9. Ask if they provide audit defense. No one wants to get audited, but they still happen. In that event, you’ll want a qualified tax professional like a CPA to represent you before the IRS or Tax Court. They can gather your documentation used to prepare your return and deal with the IRS directly if you authorize them to do so on your behalf. Having a licensed CPA discuss your tax return with the IRS is likely a better option than you doing it alone.
  10. Ask for referrals from other clients. Referrals often result in some of the best leads for businesses. The same is true when you’re a customer looking for a reputable business or service provider to meet your needs. Because receiving a referral from another client can lead to highly-qualified recommendations on who to hire (or who not to hire), asking other clients for referrals and reviews can improve the likelihood of finding a good CPA near you.

The types of tax preparers

You have three chief types of tax professionals you can hire to help you with tax work.

  • Enrolled agent: An enrolled agent is a tax professional who’s been federally licensed by the IRS. They’re tax practitioners who are authorized to advise, represent and prepare tax returns for businesses and individuals. They must either pass a rigorous three-part exam or have experience through working as a former IRS employee. Enrolled agents must complete continuing education requirements to maintain their license.
  • CPA: A certified public accountant (CPA) is an accounting professional who meets stringent educational and experience requirements. CPAs are licensed by their state and must complete continuing education requirements to maintain their license. You can approach a CPA for many reasons, but they’re widely known for filing several types of tax returns, including for individuals and businesses. A CPA can help with finding relevant deductions and credits and also offers financial planning services.
  • Tax attorney: A tax attorney is another type of tax professional who specializes in tax matters. In addition to tax preparation services, they can represent taxpayers before the IRS, as well as in civil and criminal tax court. If you have a need for someone to offer legal advice or representation before the IRS or court, you’d want to consider hiring a tax lawyer.

TurboTax Tip: When choosing a tax master, it ‘s important to consider what services they offer, their experience, and their fees. It ‘s besides crucial to make surely that they are licensed and insured .

What kind of tax preparer do I need?

Choosing a tax preparer shouldn ’ thymine be an excessively complicated undertaking if you follow the tips provided above. They can help guide your research and understand of the types of tax preparers available .
If you need aid with preparing your tax restitution, consider finding an enroll Agent ( EA ), Certified Public Accountant ( CPA ) or tax lawyer. These income tax advisors can assist with tax returns varying from simple to complex as they ’ ra well-trained and knowing about the tax code, and how to claim relevant tax deductions and credits on your fall .
Above all, you should trust your tax preparer. You ‘ll share personal information with this person, such as your income, syndicate, and residence .
Anyone can be a pay tax tax return preparer if they have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number ( PTIN ). Tax return preparers have respective levels of skills, education, expertness, and credentialing .
In addition to searching for, “ tax advisors near me, ” consider consulting the IRS ’ Directory of Federal Tax Return Preparers with Credentials and Select Qualifications. This is a searchable directory intended to help you by providing a list of tax preparers near you who presently hold professional credentials recognized by the IRS and state boards of accountancy, or who hold an annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion .

Do small businesses hire accountants?

Yes. minor businesses besides hire CPAs for their business needs .
much, small businesses don ’ t have the expertness to handle a set of the tax matters related to their business. Accountants can do more than just taxes. They can besides handle administrative tasks such as budget, bookkeeping, fiscal accounting and report, invoice, tax plan, and tax homework and file.

These services are invaluable for belittled businesses, particularly in their first base year of commercial enterprise when they ’ re more focus on running the party and growing it into a profitable venture .

Choosing the right accountant

When it comes to fiscal plan and file taxes, it ‘s crucial to choose the right accountant for your needs. Enrolled agents, CPAs, and tax attorneys all have unlike qualifications and areas of expertness. All can handle your tax fall needs, while CPAs and tax attorneys can provide other valuable services like representing you before the IRS or Tax Court, or even helping your business with other administrative tasks .
Looking for technical tax avail ? very experts can help, or even do your taxes for you with TurboTax Live. Get outright advice as you do your taxes, or have everything done for you—start to finish. Learn more about How TurboTax Live Works .

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Category : Finance

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