When it comes to choosing the right tax professional for your tax situation, there are many factors to consider.
Depending on your needs and budget there are different types of professionals that can help you out. Read on to learn more and discover what professional is best for your situation.
Ultimately, your decision should be based on your specific needs and financial situation as well as the qualifications of the professional you’re considering. Do not hesitate to ask questions about their experience, fees, and credentials before making your choice.
What is a Tax Professional?
A Tax Professional is an individual who understands the complexities of taxation and helps taxpayers comply with their tax obligations. Choosing the right person for the job is crucial to resolving your tax issues.
There are 4 types of tax professionals, here is a short breakdown of the different types of tax professionals and what areas they help with.
- Tax Preparer is a non-credentialed tax professional who typically works for a tax preparation firm or independently, and prepares income tax returns for individuals and small businesses.
- Certified Public Accountant (CPA) is a credentialed accountant who specializes in taxes and can provide comprehensive financial advice to small and large businesses and individuals.
- Tax Attorney is a lawyer specializing in taxation who can represent taxpayers in matters involving the IRS or state taxing authorities.
- Enrolled Agent (EA) is a federally licensed tax practitioner who provides representation for taxpayers before all administrative levels of the Internal Revenue Service for audits, collections, and appeals. They also help with past due taxes and debt resolution.
All of these professionals are capable of helping you understand your individual, business, or estate taxes to ensure compliance with local and federal laws.
What Does a Tax Preparer do?
Non Credentialed Tax preparers are responsible for preparing individuals’ and businesses’ taxes. They help individuals and businesses to understand the tax code, file their returns accurately, and maximize their deductions.
Tax preparers review financial records, such as income statements and expense reports, to determine the amount of taxes owed or the refund due. They also assist clients in understanding complex rules and regulations related to taxation, including filing deadlines and payment schedules.
Additionally, they may provide advice on investments that can reduce taxable income or offer guidance on other matters related to finances.
In order to become a tax preparer, one must usually complete a certification program approved by the IRS or pass a competency exam. There is no degree or licensing exams required to become a tax preparer.
What Does a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) do?
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are highly trained professionals who specialize in providing financial services to individuals, businesses, and other entities.
They use their expertise in accounting, taxation, auditing, and financial consulting to ensure accuracy and compliance with applicable laws and regulations. CPAs help clients make informed decisions about their finances by providing accurate analysis of data and recommending appropriate actions.
They may also provide advice on specific areas such as investments, retirement planning, budgeting, asset management and estate planning. In addition to these services, CPAs are often called upon to investigate fraud or financial mismanagement as well as provide testimony in court proceedings.
They must stay up-to-date with changes in tax laws and business regulations to ensure their clients remain compliant at all times.
To become a Certified Public Accountant you will need a Bachelors degree with an emphasis on accounting as well as 150 semester hours in courses specific to accounting before you can sit for the CPA licensure exam. Once you pass the exam the CPA license is issued by the board. In some states additional licensing is required.
What Does a Tax Attorney do?
A tax attorney is an expert in taxation law and provides legal advice to individuals and businesses on the intricacies of federal, state, and local taxes.
Tax attorneys are responsible for researching tax laws and regulations, preparing tax returns, representing clients during audits, and providing other legal services related to taxation.
They handle all aspects of tax law including income taxes, capital gains, estate taxes, charity donations, payroll deductions, foreign investments, business transactions and more. Tax attorneys must stay abreast of changes in taxation laws and must be able to interpret them in order to provide their clients with the best possible advice.
Additionally they must have excellent communication skills to explain complicated legislation clearly as well as a thorough understanding of accounting principles to properly calculate tax liabilities.
To become a Tax Attorney you will need a Bachelors degree & prepare for and take the Las School Admission Test (LSAT) Upon completing the LSAT, you will need to attend a law school and earn at a Juris Doctor (JD) or Master of Law (LLM) degree. After earning the degree you will have to pass the state bar exam before earning your license.
What Does an Enrolled Agent (EA) Do?
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a person who has been authorized by the U.S. Treasury Department to represent taxpayers in all matters pertaining to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
An EA can represent clients before the IRS in various tax related matters, including audits, appeals, past due tax returns and tax planning.
EAs must have extensive knowledge of tax laws and are required to pass an extensive three-part exam administered by the IRS as well as meet continuing education requirements. They also advise clients on changes in state and federal tax regulations, as well as prepare and file necessary paperwork.
Furthermore, EAs can provide a range of financial services such as setting up accounting systems, preparing financial statements and bookkeeping services. In short, EA’s are essential for individuals or businesses that need assistance with their taxes or other financial matters.
To become an Enrolled Agent you will need to study extensively for and pass the Special Enrollment Examination (SEE). After they receive their credentials they have to maintain it by continuing education (72 hours every 3 years) as long as they want to remain an Enrolled Agent.
How Can You Find The Best Tax Professional?
Finding the best tax professional for your situation can be daunting. It is important to do your research and first understand which type of professional is best suited for your tax needs.
Pick a reputable tax firm who will help you maximize deductions and file your taxes on time. Start by asking family, friends, or other professionals for recommendations. Next, check out online reviews and ratings of different tax professionals in your area.
Finally, make sure that the professional you choose has experience with tax situations similar to yours. Be sure to ask questions like what services they provide and how long it takes them to complete a return before making your decision. Taking the time to find the best tax professional will give you peace of mind knowing that your taxes are in good hands.
We also recommend meeting or speaking over the phone with different professionals to see which one you are most comfortable working with. You can start by giving us a call at 877-860-3731, Our Tax specialists are standing by and are happy to discuss your tax situation and provide guidance.