Filling your tax return is generally one of the most dreaded tasks in the world for most people. Enlisting the help of a professional tax return preparer is the best advice to give anyone who is stressing about their taxes. But how do you know how to choose a qualified tax return preparer? After the cancelled RTRP program, tax preparers are again unregulated so how do you know that a prospective preparer is current and up to date on all the latest tax codes? In July of this year the IRS launched the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP). The voluntary program is targeted to return preparers who aspire to a higher degree of professionalism. For preparers, the AFSP helps to ensure that they are ready for the upcoming filing season by requiring a Annual Federal Tax Refresher (AFTR) course. There are also several competitive advantages to participating in the program such as being listed in a public directory of tax return preparers with select qualifications. Return preparers who participate in the program can also use the AFSP designation on letterhead and marketing materials. For the consumer, they can choose a qualified preparer from the directory to ensure their preparer is current and up to date for the upcoming filling season.

Here are a few tips to help guide you through tax preparation.

1. Find out Tax Reductions

An important part of your tax preparation is looking for reductions or deductions in the tax bill. The IRS regulations have a lot of deductions that private individuals and businesses can avail. In business language, there are two types of expenses that can be deducted. One is known as the general expense while the other is known as necessary expense – these are the expenses that are essential to running a business. 

2. Employ a professional

There is a reason the word accountant is synonymous with taxes. An tax preparer who has completed the Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP) is current and up to date on all the latest tax law updates and changes. It is critical that your tax return preparer is adept at knowing all the nitty gritty details of tax laws and tax law updates. A good tax preparer will not only help you file your taxes, they will help organize your finances with respect to your expenses and advise you on tax deduction tips and strategies.

3. Select The Correct Tax Form

This step is a must-note for you or anyone who you’ve given the task of being your tax preparer. The key to filing the best tax return is being prepared beforehand to file your taxes. The tax form can be selected in the company information sections and most commonly this is done online. The correct tax form can be beneficial to you as different tax forms have different requirements and the correct form will let you avoid any unforeseen issues.