Are you looking for your best options for annual tax filing next year? Read on, and you'll see why it often pays to seek the services of a human tax preparer who can set up your filings the right way.
Easy tax prep software has certainly churned up the tax prep industry—more people are simply using basic software programs to create their tax returns. But this isn't always the right way to go, because filing taxes is a complicated business. Also, some of the best shops can offer value-added 'extras' to make their services even more effective for clients. Here are some of the ways that you can get the best and most effective tax prep from a local financial firm.
Help with Partial Year or Multiple Tax Filings
Maybe you moved during the year, and you have to pay taxes in two separate jurisdictions. Or you may have a complicated set of federal, state and local returns to file. The best tax preparers in an area will be able to set up your annual filing for both of your addresses, and neatly contrast your tax responsibilities in each area, or blend multiple federal, state and local filing into one easy process.
Enrolled Agent Experience
Some of the best local tax preparers have experience working for the IRS. This makes them better advocates for clients, and allows them to answer more of your routine questions about annual taxes.
Estimated Quarterly Tax Assistance
If you are an independent contractor, ask your firm about how they help clients prepare for estimated quarterly taxes. Some firms send out notifications each quarter, or even send blank envelopes for filing this important paperwork throughout the year.
The best tax prep companies can also offer you e-filing options which can help get tax rebates sent out quicker, or help you meet those difficult April deadlines. The federal IRS has a specific paperwork system for e-filing which involves forms that your tax prep office should be able to help you complete, so that you can do your annual filing more quickly and more efficiently.
A "Lockbox" Approach
Another mark of the highest-quality tax service preparers is a dedication to keeping each client's paperwork separate. You don't want your preparer to be confused, shuffling papers around his or her desk while figuring up your tax deductions or other parts of your return. Make sure your tax prep company takes an isolated look at each client's personal files so that all of your information will be accurate when it gets sent to federal and state tax agencies.
All of these extra services help local, human tax preparers to exceed their customer's expectations, and make them better partners than a piece of software.