Great article on Forbes today about 11 questions to ask when hiring a tax preparer and I agree on the 11 questions you should ask your tax preparer or potential tax preparer and we got your answers and we’ve added an additional question and answer.

  1. Do you have a valid PTIN?  Yes, we do and you can check for valid PTIN on the PTIN Directory
  2. What is your tax background? Check out our qualifications
  3. Have you prepared a tax return before for my type of situation? If we have never done your type of tax return or special circumstances, we will tell you up-front that it might be an extra cost or we will need to consultant with a specialist in that area. We do have several resources and other CPA firms we can contact to help with specialized tax returns and if we can’t help you, we will refer you to someone that can.
  4. Do you know the requirements of the state and localities where I am required to file? We do know Federal Tax Law, California Tax Law and New Mexico Tax Law. Each state has quirky filing requirements and as part of our due diligence, we do research and learn about a specific state law or requirement before filing.
  5. What records and other documentation do you need from me? We send out a tax list of required documents at the beginning of each year to each of our clients, since every client is different, everyone gets a different list. However for a new client, we send a generic tax planner and then ask questions regarding the answers. We need documentation to verify income and expenses. We will ask to see receipts and will ask multiple questions to determine whether expenses, deductions and other items qualify.
  6. How do you determine your fees? Our fees are a flat fee based on the type of return and the complexity of your return.
  7. Do you review my tax return with me before its filed? Yes, we send you a copy of your tax return for review and amounts owed if any before we file your tax return
  8. Can you file electronically?  We are required by the IRS to file electronically unless you opt out
  9. Who will sign your return? We do, as a paid tax preparer with a valid PTIN, we are required to sign the electronically filed return
  10. When will I receive a copy of my tax return? You will receive a copy of your tax return 1 week after the e-file is accepted via email. If you require a hard copy print out, just let us know.
  11. How do I find you if I have a question after tax season? That’s easy, just call us, we’re always here.
  12. What happens if I get audited? If you should happen to get audit, we can represent you before the IRS for any tax return we have preparer.