If you need help with your taxes, it pays (literally) to find the right professional, instead of just the first one. Here are some tips for picking the right tax pro for you.
The first step to finding the right tax pro to help you is to figure out exactly what you need. If you need help with just simple forms and filings, you might want to stick to a company like H&R Block. If your needs are more complex — perhaps you run a business — you should look for a CPA or even a tax lawyer.
Once you know what you need, ask family, colleagues and friends for referrals. While it can take more time going this route as opposed to simply Googling, you increase your chances of finding a tax pro you will like.
Narrow down your choices with a face-to-face interview. Ask the tax pro about data security, if they charge a flat fee or hourly rates, if they have staffers who help them and their credentials, and whatever else you can think of that might be relevant.
After the interview process is complete, you should then compare pricing. While you shouldn’t pick a tax pro on cost alone, it’s something you should consider.
Be Wary of Promises
If a potential match is promising big returns, you should likely steer clear. As US News reports, unless you’ve had some drastic changes to your income, family situation or tax status, your tax returns should remain relatively the same from year to year. Anyone who says they can somehow land you a large return is likely not worth hiring.