According to the National Small Business Association's Small Business Taxation Survey, 85% of small businesses use an external tax practitioner to prepare their returns; only 15% do it in-house (by owners or staff). There are several compelling reasons for this: the complexity of tax rules; continual changes in tax rules; the variety of tax returns that must filed for income, employment, and excise taxes; and the time it takes to address tax responsibilities.
If you work with a tax pro or are thinking of doing so, be sure you select the appropriate professional for your situation. This chapter explains what to look for. It also provides important tips in finding and vetting a tax professional.
There are various types of tax professionals. They have different levels of education, skills, and continuing education requirements. They also have different representation rights in dealing with the IRS.
Attorneys are licensed by state courts, the District of Columbia or designees of courts of the states or the District of Columbia, such as the state bar. Usually, they have earned a degree in law and have passed a bar exam. Attorneys generally have ongoing continuing education and professional character standards.
Attorneys may offer a range of services. Some attorneys specialize in tax preparation ...