Finding an IRS tax preparer who values the seriousness of the situation as much as you do can be a tricky experience. You may want to hire a IRS tax preparer for speed and efficiency, for assistance in creating and implementing a tax strategy customized to your financial situation, or for assistance in reviewing and managing a complex tax situation.
If speed is the foremost of your concerns, you may want to consider a nationwide tax management franchise, like Jackson Hewitt. However, as often as a job is done quickly, is as often as it is done poorly, and ultimately, if discrepancies are found, it will be you left footing the tax bill. With this in mind, try to prepare in advance for you tax preparation. Preparing for preparation may sound like a silly notion, but the old saying 'better safe than sorry' never wears thin with me, especially where finances are concerned.
If you're looking for assistance in implementing an effective tax strategy, you should consider hiring a CPA (certified public accountant) or an Enrolled Agent. Often, they will only charge a small amount more than nationwide companies, but can offer a much more personal service.
If your problem is complex, than the average preparation, i.e. if you're trying to resolve an audit or repay debts, or if you own a small business that has recently started up, then take the time to do some research, and look for a financial specialist who has experience in dealing with similar cases.
Whoever you decide to hire as your tax preparer, remember to check the following details before agreeing to hire their services:
Call various tax preparation agencies and individuals, and ask them for a quote based on your situation. Quotes can be based on a 'per hour' or 'per form' basis. Some may offer a quote based on them handling the entire matter. Be sure, when making queries, that you keep track of who you are contacting for queries, as well as the quotes you receive. You can expect to pay anything in the region of $150 - $450, depending on who you hire, and how much of their time and service you require to assist you.
Find out the level of training your tax preparer has, particularly if you plan to use one of the nationwide companies.
A certified public accountant will be licensed by the state to practice.
An Enrolled Agent will be licensed by the IRS to practice.
This is certainly an area where paying that little bit extra could make the difference in your piece of mind, providing that little extra is being given to a professional body.