For Immediate Release Contact: Kerry Freeman, EA
Although you may not have received all your tax documents yet, it’s not too early to start looking for someone to prepare your tax return. Remember, not all tax preparers are created equal. So, when shopping around, ask yourself a few important questions:
1. What kind of tax preparer should I seek?
Enrolled agents (EA’s), certified public accountants (CPA’s), attorneys, commercial firms, and seasonal tax preparers are popular choices for tax preparation; however, only EAs, CPAs, and attorneys can represent you before the IRS. While you may never need to be represented in an audit or collection, it is important to find a qualified tax professional to prepare and file your return. The money you may save using an unqualified preparer could be overshadowed by the additional tax you may pay if the unqualified preparer is unfamiliar with current, legitimate tax deductions and credits.
Enrolled agents are qualified tax professionals. Many states have no special licensing requirements for tax preparers, but enrolled agents receive their designation (license) from the federal government, as their name implies. “Enrolled” refers to the fact that the federal government licenses these professionals. They are “agents” because they are authorized to appear in place of a taxpayer in dealing with IRS audits, collections, or appeals. Enrolled agents earn their credential by passing an IRS-administered comprehensive exam, encompassing individual, business, estate and trust taxation, and more.
2. Is the tax preparer knowledgeable and up-to-date?
Members of the National Association of Enrolled Agents (NAEA) are required to complete 30 hours of continuing professional education each year to maintain membership. This surpasses the IRS licensing requirement of 24 hours per year. Continuing education ensures that EAs keep abreast of constantly changing tax laws and regulations. EAs are also experienced in areas such as tax and financial planning, estate and trust services, small business consultation, and more.
3. Is the tax preparer bound by any ethical standards?
Enrolled agents are required to abide by a high standard of professional conduct. EAs who violate this standard may be suspended or disbarred from practice. EAs are also subject to rigorous background checks before they receive their license.
4. What are your needs?
Everyone has specific tax needs. An EA can potentially address all those needs. Are you sure you are getting all your eligible deductions or tax credits? Perhaps it’s been awhile since you filed a tax return. Maybe you are one of the millions of Americans who started a business and this is the first time you are filing a business return. Enrolled agents prepare millions of tax returns each year for individuals, partnerships, corporations, estates and trusts, and other entities required to file tax returns. Enrolled agents are an excellent resource for anyone seeking up-to-date information on all tax-related issues!
The preparer’s fees and availability are other items to consider when seeking a tax professional. High fees do not necessarily denote quality service, nor do low fees necessarily denote poor service. Go with someone who will explain his or her fees to you and not set them arbitrarily. Your needs will be different from another’s, and you want a tax professional who will recognize the uniqueness of your situation. In addition, be wary of tax return preparers who promise large refunds as their selling point. Also ask yourself if the preparer is available year-round or just seasonally. Remember, the best time to plan for tax-saving strategies is before tax season and enrolled agents are available year-round for any help that you may need. If you’re in a tax bind after April 15, where’s that seasonal return preparer going to be?
If you have any question call Kerry Freeman EA at Freeman Income Tax service. Phone #623-518-2157 or visit WWW.CACEA.com for a professional tax preparer near you. Freeman Income tax service is located at