There are always changes within the tax code, and with those changes, your tax refund preparation methods may shift. As you start thinking about filing taxes this year, consider not only what will get the job done, but how you can be sure you’re getting the best possible refund. After all, you can’t assume that one tax preparer is not like another.
So how do you choose the best tax preparation service? You consider the complexity of your tax situation and determine what you’ll need to be successful in filing your income tax return.
Check for Credentials
Your first step when it comes to finding the best tax services is to simply see that the person handling your most important financial information is licensed to do so. Anyone can use tax preparation software, including you, so be sure you’re paying a tax advisor for some sort of expertise. A quick glance at a Turbo Tax survey can tell you how some reviewers were surprised by the service they expected versus the service they received.
If you’re worried that your income tax situation is complex and you might need representation with the IRS down the line, you might consider working with an enrolled agent, a CPA, or a tax attorney to file your taxes. Granted these tax preparation services will cost you most than paying someone in a seasonal office to fill in some online boxes for you, but hopefully, you’ll be getting your money’s worth in terms of peace of mind.
Consider Trusted Referrals
If you’re looking for someone to help with your tax refund this year, consider asking your friends and family about their own tax preparation. If they have a trusted tax advisor, that person or company might be a great option for you as well.
Check Reviews Online
Every business has online reviews. As you are considering options for a tax preparation company, consider what you’ll find on a reviews website. Websites like PissedConsumer.com compile reviews from customers who share their experiences and frustrations with various companies, including tax refund companies and software programs.
Reading through consumer reviews can give you valuable insight into how various companies work and potential issues or concerns you’ll want to be aware of before placing your trust in a particular company.
Read Contracts and Fine Print Carefully
Before you turn over your financials to a new tax preparation service, you need to be aware of what you can expect from that company. Tax preparation companies reviews can help clarify some of the things that might be buried in the fine print. At the very least you should know exactly what the tax preparer charges for their services and what guarantees they are making about your tax filing if something goes wrong.
Be Wary of Things That Seem Too Good to Be True
Not every tax preparer is ethical. While you’d hope that online reviews would help you identify the questionable ones ahead of time, you need to stay wary with any provider. If the company is promising spectacular things, perhaps an income tax refund that is thousands more than anyone else is able to come up with, be careful.
The same is true for companies that offer advances from your income tax return as there are often hefty fees and even penalties for using these advance offer that can reduce your tax refund substantially. Sometimes good things are worth waiting for – and they will likely cost you less in the long term.
When you’re looking for the right tax services, don’t rush into the first storefront you see. Take a bit of time to compare the offerings in your area. You want to trust your tax preparation company and ensure that you’re getting the best refund with the best service possible.