For most people, doing taxes is neither fun nor particularly rewarding, especially if yours are on the more complex side. Finding a good tax preparer in Jamestown, ND can be a life (and sanity) saver, ensuring you get the maximum amount of deductions as well as make the entire process a lot easier. In fact, the IRS estimates that around 60 percent of Americans use professional tax preparers. Here’s how to find the right one for you.
Types of professional tax preparers
Anyone can prepare your taxes for you, but if they receive payment for their services, they must have a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). Here’s a closer look at some of your options:
- CPAs: Certified public accountants (like the team at Craig S. Hanson, CPA) have passed their state board licensing exams as well as the Uniform CPA Examination, and complete their required continuing education units. CPAs can handle complex and special tax issues, and can represent clients through the IRS audit and appeal process.
- Enrolled agents: Enrolled agents are people who passed a three-part Special Enrollment Examination that qualifies them to prepare taxes. They’re licensed by the IRS, can represent clients at all levels of the audit and appeal process and also must complete continuing education requirements. You can use an enrolled agent for just about any tax issues you may have.
- Attorneys: Attorneys are required to pass the state bar exam as well as complete continuing legal education credits and adhere to the attorney code of ethics. You should have an attorney prepare your taxes if there are novel tax issues at stake, or potential criminal liability, as their attorney/client privilege exceeds the privilege between CPAs or enrolled agents with their clients.
- Annual filing season program participants: These individual tax preparers have completed an IRS program and are required to complete continuing education units.
- Other preparers with PTINs: Finally, individuals who believe they can prepare taxes competently and have paid the PTIN fee to the IRS can prepare taxes for payment. They are not subject to any licensing boards or other oversight. They won’t be able to represent you in audits or appeals.
What to watch out for
When you’re evaluating your choices, look out for preparers who offer to cash your refund for you, or who charge you based on the size of the refund—that’s against the code of ethics. If they don’t ask for documentation, or make any guarantees without first seeing your financial documents, they’re treading in illegal waters. Always check your tax preparer’s reputation with the applicable boards, as well as peruse online reviews and other resources.
Find a good tax preparer in Jamestown, ND
Let the team at Craig S. Hanson, CPA take care of your taxes this year. We’re experienced in handling tax preparation and accounting for individuals and businesses and will work to make sure you get the biggest refund possible. Take the guesswork and frustration out of tax season by calling us today to set up an appointment.