How to hire a professional to file your taxes, fix your IRS issues and problems, and deal with your IRS letters and IRS debt.
In this article, you will read about what to look for when hiring a tax professional.
Steps to take when you are looking for a tax professional:
The steps are an opinion of a widely versed citizen, experienced in tax services.
Some reviews online are created by paid fake clients/ customers that never purchased the services.
Some licenses are from countries outside the US, which have different tax and accounting laws.
Checking experience is important since most mistakes are made at the beginning of a person’s career.
Step 1. Check Tax Professional Reviews
How do you check reviews?
You can use the Google search for the company and the tax professional name to see what Google search will show you about the company and the tax professional. For example, open Google, enter the name of the tax professional that you are about to hire, and click “search”. You may be surprised to find information that may not be exactly related to the services you are interested in. You may find information regarding the person’s social life, court records, news in newspapers, or even police records. This would be your first step in researching your tax professional and their company.
The tax professional’s feedback and reviews that are listed in the company’s profile may not necessarily be real reviews. We all know that anyone can simply purchase a five-star review. This is illegal, but people still do it. Just like it is possible to purchase Instagram followers, Facebook likes, etc.
What would separate a real review from a fake review?
Although, not always, usually the person who wrote their feedback will have their own profile on that social media. Check the reviewer profile to see whether the profile is legitimate and is located in the country that is related to the service provider. You may also check whether the reviewer provided feedback to other businesses, what those businesses are, etc.
For example, if you look at the tax professional services below:
Here, this business has 26 five-star reviews, and each other the reviews are written by legitimate individuals, who have their own profiles, located in the US and Western Europe.
Each of the reviews contains a description of how the reviewer met the tax professional provided, and what was good about the services. The reviewer also named the tax professional by their name. Additionally, the reviewer also reviewed other businesses, such as supermarkets, travel agencies, restaurants, parks, etc.
Here are other examples of reviews that can be trusted :
These 29 reviews (from the above profile) are legitimate, since each of the reviewers purchased the services, as shown via the amount the reviewer paid for the services. There is also a detailed description of what the services were, as well as the tax professional’s name. In my opinion, these above reviews are 100% legitimate.
There are other examples that you can find:
The five positive feedbacks are also legitimate here since they are all confirmed via the PTIN Directory business website.
As well as this below profile, which shows BBB 5-star feedback:
BBB always checks business profiles, before they publish them in their database.
Now, let’s talk about the second step, the necessary licenses.
Step 2. Check Tax Professional Licenses
Most businesses list their certificates and licenses on their websites. How do you verify them?
You may need to go to a state or federal agency to see whether the professional is listed there and their license is not expired. For example, if you are looking to check IRS license of a tax professional, you would go on the IRS website to check that.
Step 3. Check Experience.
How do you check experience?
This is probably the most difficult step. I can’t advise you to hire a private detective to do this step, of course. Checking someone’s experience is an extensive task. Running a background check can be pricey and also subject to legal implications. You may have to be careful with this step. Although, I would personally suggest simply looking at the oldest review/ feedback that a person/ business has on social media. The oldest feedback/ review would show what year was it written. That is probably the year the person started doing the business. Most mistakes are made at the beginning of someone’s career. So, the older the feedback/ reviews the more experience the person or the company has.
There are many tax professionals out there, please, be very careful selecting one, so you don’t get in trouble with the IRS.