You don’t have to be a business mogul or owner to need a tax accountant. Tax law is complicated and confusing to most of us and doing your taxes can take a lot of time and effort. On the other hand, you need to find the right tax accountant that meets your specific needs. Here’s how to do it.
Ask For Their PTIN Number to Confirm They’re Legit
Whether you choose to hire a senior accountant or a small business accountant – they should have a PTIN number. PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number) is issued by the IRS and the agency requires anyone who prepares taxes professionally to have one.
Your tax preparer should also sign your tax return and put their PTIN number on it – it’s required by the law. A huge red flag to avoid is if an accountant refuses to share their PTIN number for you or doesn’t want to sign your tax return. Run for the hills.
Credentialed Tax Preparers Are Better
Some tax preparers are better equipped to help you in more ways than one. A PTIN is relatively easy to get and PTIN holders don’t require as much expertise or experience as, say, enrolled agents, CPAs, or tax attorneys. These tax preparers are called certified tax preparers as they need more credentials, education, and experience to hold their titles.
The difference between credentialed and non-credentialed tax preparers is that the non-credentialed ones can’t help you in case of an audit, other legal issues, or other financial services. That’s why it’s better to go with credentialed tax preparers – you get better service.
Know Your Tax Needs
The first step to finding the right tax preparer is understanding your own needs. Do you need someone who can help you with investment advice, estate planning, or business consulting? Or do you just need someone to file your taxes?
If you’re a small business owner, for example, you might need an accountant who can do more than just file your taxes – you might need someone who can help you with bookkeeping, payroll, and financial planning. On the other hand, if you’re a single filer with no dependents, your tax needs will be fairly simple and straightforward.
Take some time to sit down and think about what you need from an accountant before you start your search. This will help you narrow down your options and find the right professional for your needs.
Look for Recommendations
Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to start asking around for recommendations. Turn to your friends and acquaintances for recommendations. This is the best way to find anything, really, and a tax accountant in Las Vegas is no different. Especially if your acquaintances have similar tax needs as you. If you already have a financial advisor, maybe they could recommend someone.
If someone comes highly recommended, ask them for more details about their experience. Find out what they liked and didn’t like about their accountant so that you can avoid making the same mistakes.
Membership in Professional Organizations Is a Plus
When you’re looking for a tax accountant Las Vegas, it’s a good idea to find someone who is a member of professional organizations, like the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA) or the National Association of Tax Professionals (NATP). These organizations have strict requirements for membership and they also offer continuing education opportunities for their members. This way, you can be sure that your accountant is keeping up with the latest changes in tax law.
Don’t Forget about Cost
Of course, you also need to consider cost when you’re choosing a tax accountant. Different firms charge different rates, so it’s important to get an estimate from each one before making a decision. Remember that the cheapest option isn’t always the best – you want to make sure that you’re getting quality service for your money.
Making the decision to hire an accountant is a big one. But if you take the time to do your research and choose carefully, you can find an accountant that meets all of your needs and helps you save money on taxes. With a little effort, finding the right accountant doesn’t have to be difficult – and it’s well worth the effort to have peace of mind come tax season.