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Filing taxes: What to know before choosing a tax pro

Before you file your taxes...

Rather than shifting through form after form, reading complicated tax codes and endless fine-print, the average citizen often turns to a tax professional for annual tax filing. But finding a good tax pro can be tricky. Here are 7 important things to consider before selecting someone to handle your taxes.


Filing taxes

1. Knowledge and experience

The professional's knowledge and experience is most vital to ensure the greatest tax refund. Make sure to ask about years of experience as well as areas of specialization -- especially if you have unique needs.

2. Access to information

A proficient tax professional must know unique personal financial situations and needs. Their access to uncommon tax information is key.

3. Stable, reputable and available

A reputable tax professional or tax firm ensures availability and assistance concerning any tax problems or questions that arise throughout the year.

4. Security and long-term connection

Your tax professional should make clear their policies on security and safeguards. Knowing your information will be safe should something happen to you is important.

5. Error protection

Make sure your tax professional or preparation firm will pay for penalties and interest caused by a filing error or omission.

6. Diverse

A large, established tax firm may offer a greater number of knowledgeable and specialized tax professionals who are accustomed to handling complex or unusual tax returns.

7. Identify extra fees

Tax preparation fees are generally based upon the complexity of the return. Look for tax professionals and firms with clear and easy-to-understand guarantees, fees and policies.

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