The tax code changes every year, and as a result completing returns on your own can be very hard if you are a businessperson in Sacramento. Relinquishing this task to a professional tax preparer can save you a lot of time and also give you peace of mind. This is because this professional knows more about the law, and he or she will be aware if there are any changes to the tax code that will need to be considered when completing returns.
When hiring a tax preparer in Sacramento, you need to make sure that he or she is someone that you can trust to deliver quality services. Even though the professional will be doing the job for you, you are the one who will be legally responsible for everything in that return. Therefore, if the professional intentionally defrauds the government or makes a mistake, you may be required to pay additional taxes, interests or penalties. In adverse cases, you might be on the hook for possible prosecution.
There are different types of tax preparers that you can choose from in Sacramento, namely, the IRS designated enrolled agents, certified public accountants, tax attorneys, storefront agents as well as self-employed preparers. The first three are bound to ethical standards and must adhere to their own agencys licensing requirements as well as continuing education. If you are looking for someone to represent you before the IRS on various tax matters, including appeals, audits and collection, they are the ones that are authorized to do so.
The storefront agents and self-employed tax preparers can only represent you for audits of returns that they have prepared. So, before hiring a tax preparer, it is always a good idea to find out if they belong to a professional organization that has continuing education requirements. This will help you avoid hiring someone who may end up offering substandard services.
You will also need to ask the preparers how their fees are determined. There are some that charge by the hour, while some charge by the number of forms filed. You can pay anywhere from $100 to thousands of dollars for these services depending on how complex your situation is. To be on the safe side, make sure that the billing terms are spelled out in writing.
Be very careful about tax preparers who claim that they can get larger refunds for their services compared to other tax preparers. This is because it is hard to estimate what your refund will be without first viewing your financial details. You should also check the credentials of the tax preparer you are hiring and determine if any complaints have been filed against them with the Better Business Bureau.
Depending on how complex your financial situation is, you can be able to complete the returns on your own using tax preparation software such as H&R Block, Turbo Tax or TaxACT. However, you will need to understand how these programs work to be sure that you are doing the right thing with them.