So you’ve started a business. All is well and good—that is until your legal and financial obligations come to light. Fulfilling business tax requirements is an obligation that often requires the help of expert tax advisors.
Having a pro onboard can help you save a lot of money and time during tax season. Not to mention, they are of great help when you get audited. So, here is a simple but effective guide to choosing the right tax management service provider.
1. Ask for a PTIN
The IRS mandates that anyone who prepares federal tax returns for compensation must have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). This does not apply to tax preparers who offer their services voluntarily. So when choosing someone, make sure they put their PTIN number on your return as this information is required by the IRS too.
2. Get a Credentialed Preparer
Once you’ve got a PTIN number, the next step is to look for credentialed preparers i.e. someone who is an enrolled agent (EA), has completed the Annual Filing Season Program by the IRS, or is a certified public accountant (CPA). This ensures that the preparer stays updated with the latest best practices and laws related to the field.
3. Compare Service Fees
Once you’ve shortlisted a few tax preparation services, it’s time to compare fees. Do your research before making a final decision so you don’t end up getting exploited. Often, tax preparers charge a minimum fee plus cost, depending on the difficulty of your return. On average, the minimum amount is between $150 and $200. Other times, they charge a fixed fee for each schedule and form in the client’s return.
4. Opt for Tax Preparers who E-file
During your search, keep an eye out for tax preparers who e-file. The IRS requires all compensated preparers who do more than 10 returns for clients to file electronically using the IRS’s system. If your preparer doesn’t e-file, this could mean that they don’t do enough tax prep.
5. Make Sure They Understand Your Requirements
Last but not least, choose a tax service provider that can understand and fulfill your unique requirements. Every business has a different revenue model, payment structure, and tax obligations. So make sure your tax preparer understands your tax filing requirements and can give you tailored legal tax advice for business.
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