Selecting a tax preparer is a huge decision to make. This person needs to have the education, intelligence and experience to ensure you get the best deal from the IRS while complying with all laws and regulations. If you are going to search for a tax accountant—a CPA at Wynkoop & Associates is the best way to go.
A tax preparer is a professional who is qualified to calculate, file and sign income tax returns on your behalf. Tax preparers must be up to date on the continually changing tax codes and laws in order to work on behalf of their client.
We have over 30 years of experience in tax preparation and working with the IRS. As the laws changed over the years, so did we.
Who is qualified?
Not everyone is qualified to prepare taxes. This is why you are seeking a professional. The most important thing to know is that the IRS does NOT certify tax preparers. If anyone makes this claim, reconsider your decision on working with them. The IRS does certify enrolled agents. If this makes you more comfortable, you may ask if the CPA has one at the office. However, an experienced CPA will know just as much as an IRS agent.
Storefront preparers are what you may drive by every day. These are big chains like H&R Block and other franchises. The people here have different credentials, and there are people without credentials. Employees can range from lawyers to CPAs to those who are completely uncertified and with no formal education. Larger firms may have training programs, smaller ones may not be able to afford it. Know who prepares your taxes. This person may not be authorized to represent you in front of the IRS if your return is audited. They may also not be available twelve months of the year. CPAs are.
Enrolled agents are the only people who need to and have passed an exam strictly on taxes. This exam is given by the IRS and enrolled agents are entitled to represent you in front of the IRS if your return is audited. If it goes so far—the person may even represent you in tax court. Working with an experienced CPA will ensure your situation never goes this far.
Certified Public Accountants
A CPA, like Chris Wynkoop, is a person who is certified by the state to act as a public accountant. This person must pass a test and have experience as a noncertified accountant. Many CPAs specialize in taxation, but not all do. CPAs may represent you before the IRS. Working with a CPA in the beginning will ensure it does not get this far.
Having a CPA prepare your taxes ensures that you are getting quality work and optimum results. You may not know it, but you may have a complicated tax situation in which only a CPA can help you solve. In this case, you may not know it and need to contact our offices right away.
What Kind of Tax Preparer Do You Need?
Anyone can be a tax return preparer as long as they have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). However, this does not guarantee quality service. Like all professionals, these people range in different skill levels, education and expertise.
Work with a CPA when your tax situation is complicated. Some examples of complicated situations may be:
Divorce with children Many lawyers are unfamiliar with tax consequences of a divorce. A knowledgeable CPA can ensure you make more money by maximizing your tax savings.
Small businesses, corporations and limited liability partnerships Each type of business has different types of benefits from the flexibility offered by using CPAs knowledge and experience to pay the least amount of taxes possible.
Investment portfolios over $200,000 Those with high-net-worth portfolios need ongoing guidance of a CPA. This also includes limited partnership investments, rea estate investments and alternative investments. It is best to work with a CPA throughout the year, because your choices will affect the tax situation differently each year.
What to Bring to Your CPA
Help us help you.
1. Your ID: It is important that we know who you are. We also need to confirm identification information to help your situation the best we can. If you are claiming anyone on your return, you will need their social security number for each person. Every year, the IRS sends back thousands of tax returns because names and social security numbers don’t match. Make sure this doesn’t happen to you.
2. Copy of Your Most Recent Tax Return: We want to know what has happened in the past. It also helps us easily access information and calculate deductions without having to continually call you.
3. Wage Statements: If you are an employee, you will receive a Form W-2 and tax statement. Bring this. If you don’t receive it by January 31, follow up on your employer and make sure all is in order.
4. Additional Income Statements: Did you have income from other sources throughout the year? We need this information. This can include interest and dividend fro investments, unemployment income, gifts and almost anything you can think of. You should receive official statements for each source of income, if applicable. Bring these. IF you don’t have physical information about additional income. Ask your accountant.
5. Real Estate Documents: You may have more hoops to jump through, or benefits to reap than you know. Documents pertaining to home purchases, proof of paid mortgage, home equity loan interest and property taxes paid are all information you need to bring to your accountant.
6. Proof of Expenses: If you are going to claim deductions and credits—you need proof. This includes receipts, education expenses, self-employment expenses and more. Bring all you can. It is better to have too much documentation than too little.
Be prepared. Our firm has the tax preparer you need. Contact us today for more information.