Tax seasons are probably the most difficult time of an adult’s life since people on average do not know about the intricacies and fine details of filing taxes. But fortunately, people can now hire tax preparers. Tax preparer’s acts as Certified Personal Accountants (CPA) and help people handle all the legal documents and procedure of the tax. As we know, the tax laws for seafarers and offshore workers are quite different and that’s why they need specialized marine tax accountants instead of CPAs. But all tax prepares are not alike and you cannot know which one to trust. It is really important to choose your tax prepares carefully, after all you are giving them all of your financial information and they can take advantage of it. Here are some questions you should a tax preparer before hiring them.

Do they have a PTIN?

The first thing you need to check before hiring a tax accountant is the PTIN. All tax preparers have a Preparer Tax Identification Number, abbreviated as PTIN. This number is specific for each tax accountant and preparer, given to them by the government. No two tax preparers have the same identification number; it is the mark of their authentication. Always make sure to check this before giving them any information about your finances.

What about their Background and Past Experience?

Certain tax preparers come from different academic backgrounds and are specialized in different things. Before hiring the tax preparers, ask them about their qualifications and what they can do for your tax return. For example, certified financial planners (CFP) have studied tax accountancy and are well-versed in preparing taxes.  Enrolled Agents (EA) are especially trained by the IRS and can legally represent clients in the tax audits. Similarly, you can check for the tax preparer’s credibility by asking them about their experience.

Do they understand your Case?

Every taxpayer has different circumstances that require specific actions accordingly. You can present your case to the tax preparer without giving them the concrete financial details and ask them if they can handle it. You may need to search for a while before you can find the tax preparer, which has the right qualifications and experience to take your case. Moreover, you can discuss at length the details of your finances and come up with a plan that allows you to get the most out of your tax returns.

If they are Aware of the Filing Requirements?

People have to file for tax returns from a specific area or district. Before hiring a tax preparer, make sure that he or she knows the filing procedure of your area. The procedure of filing tax returns differs from various localities and may include special documents that you and your tax preparer are not aware of. In this case, it can cause serious legal difficulties and financial problems. That’s why; always make sure that your tax preparer is fully aware of the legal requirements and procedure of your area before hiring them.