Taxing Time of Year

You may not realize all the resources the IRS provides to help small businesses maneuver in the federal tax law maze.  One of them that start-ups may find helpful is http://www.irsvideos.gov.  It provides short, easy to follow video clips ranging from information on business expenses to small business workshops.

For example, here are 10 Tips in Choosing a Tax Preparer gleaned from the IRS video on how to choose a tax professional.

If you’re like many small-business owners, you use a tax preparer to give you more time to manage your business. Tax law and payroll management can be fairly complex. So, just what should you consider when choosing a tax professional? What questions should you ask?

  1. Before selecting a person or a firm to handle your business, you might ask about experience.
  2. Has the preparer worked with businesses similar to yours in size and type?
  3. Is the preparer familiar with your particular line of business?
  4. Does the tax preparer offer electronic filing? (Electronic filing is the safest and most efficient way to file your tax return.)
  5. Will they also deposit your tax payments electronically?
  6. What’s the cost and what services are included in the preparers’ fees?
  7. If the IRS examines your return, what is their policy on assisting you?  (Enrolled agents, tax attorneys, and CPAs all have training in federal taxes and can represent taxpayers before the IRS in all matters, including audits, collections actions, and appeals.)
  8. Ask for references, just as you would for any professional service.
  9. Consider checking with the Better Business Bureau, your State Board of Accountancy for CPAs, the State Bar Association for attorneys, or the IRS Office of Professional Responsibility for enrolled agents.
  10. A reputable professional will sign the returns they prepare and will enter a Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. (Avoid any paid preparer who refuses to sign a return they prepared. But remember, even if you hire a tax preparer, you are legally responsible for what’s on your tax return.)

To find more tips on a variety of federal tax subjects just click on the link http://www.irsvideos.gov.

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