Not Checking Credentials
The first mistake to avoid when hiring a tax preparer is not checking their credentials. In the state of Pennsylvania, all paid tax return preparers must register with the Department of Revenue and obtain a valid Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). A PTIN is required not only for anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal or state income tax returns for compensation, but also anyone who represents taxpayers before the IRS. Make sure that any potential tax preparer has these credentials; if they don't then it's best to move on.
Not Looking at Reviews
Another mistake people make when hiring a tax preparer is not looking at reviews or testimonials from past clients. Many reputable firms will have reviews available online so you can get an idea of how satisfied other taxpayers have been with their services. You should also ask around friends and family members if they've used the firm's services before and read customer praise on their website or social media accounts. This will give you peace of mind knowing that this person or company has experience in helping others file their taxes accurately and efficiently.
Not Asking Questions
It's important to ask questions when interviewing potential tax preparers as well; don't feel intimidated by them! Ask about their experience level, qualifications, fees, turnaround time for filing returns, availability during certain times of year (like during peak season), etc., so you can get an accurate picture of how they'll handle your taxes going forward. Additionally, ask about any additional services they offer such as audit support or advice on minimizing future taxation costs; these may come in handy depending on your financial situation moving forward!
Not Verifying Accuracy
Finally, it's essential that you verify accuracy when it comes to filing your returns with any professional service provider—especially one related to something as important as taxation! Before signing off on anything make sure everything looks correct: double-check numbers against receipts/invoices/other documents provided by yourself/the firm/etc., ensure deductions were calculated correctly according to applicable laws & regulations (and take advantage of available credits!), check spelling & grammar in all paperwork submitted (even small errors could trigger audits!), etc., etc.. Don't hesitate reach out if something doesn't look right before submitting it—better safe than sorry!
Hiring an experienced professional service provider like a qualified accountant or certified public accountant can save you time and money while ensuring accurate taxation results come April 15th every year! Just remember: always check credentials ahead of time; vet reviews thoroughly; be prepared with questions during interviews; verify accuracy across all documents before signing off; follow up after filing just-in-case any issues arise down the line...and never be afraid to reach out with questions along the way!
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