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By: Jeffrey Walton

Filling out a tax return can be a difficult and time consuming task, especially if you haven’t filled out many before. The industry jargon that is used on those forms can be difficult to understand for the average person. However, all the information needs to filled out correctly so that it accurately reflects your life: this is a requirement of the law. In addition, if you make a mistake it could go against you because the tax refund amount may be lowered.

If you don’t have the time or the patience to educate yourself on how to go about filling out a tax return form in a manner that is required and most beneficial to you then you should hire the services of a trusted tax accountant.

A tax CPA (certified public accountant) can fill out a tax return form with very little input required on your behalf which frees up your time to get on with your life. A tax return if not filled out correctly can get sent back to you for revisions that need to be made and this process is continuous if you keep getting it wrong. On the other hand, a tax accountant can fill out the form correctly on the first attempt, all you need to do is submit some documentation to them such as bank statements and receipts of any work related purchases.

What qualities to look for in an accountant

Handing over the responsibility of filling out your taxes is not something that you should be casual about. If the accountant were to do something unethical then it could potentially get you in trouble with the law and possible costs you money in the form of penalties.

For instance, some tax accountants get paid depending on how big of a tax refund they were able to get. As result they will try their luck by submitting expenses that are not accurate on your behalf in the hopes of getting a bigger tax refund for you and as a result commanding a higher commission. Such dishonest tax accountants should be avoided, because not only are they capable of being dishonest to the authorities, but also to you.

From day 1 you need to make sure that everything the accountant does and says matches up, and operates in a fashion that lets you understand what is going on at every stage of the process. Trustworthy and honesty are two very vital qualities that you should look out for.

Check out their reputation

A good way to get a feel for the quality of an accountant is to check out their reputation. If they have one, be it negative or positive then it will be documented somewhere on the Internet. It may be in the form of review articles or a bunch of forum posts from members that have used their services in the past. Doing a little research before proceeding any further is good practice when hiring the services of any business as it is a way to weed out the bad apples from the good ones.

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