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How to Compare Tax Preparation Companies

If you are looking for a tax preparation company online, you are truly spoilt for choice. Perhaps even overwhelmed.

Paradoxically the rich selection might even make it hard to pick the best firm - how do you know which one is right for you? After all, everybody has a pretty website and promises to deliver superb results at reasonable prices.

As a non-accountant, you simply don’t know which factors are important and which are just window-dressing (we face the same set of problems when picking doctors, lawyers or other professionals in the fields where we are not experts).

To help you decide, we prepared the following list of questions you should ask the firms you are considering - and our answers to them.

To help you decide,
we prepared the following list of questions
you should ask the firms you are considering - and our answers to them.

2. Do you have independently verified reviews or testimonials?

3. How many pairs of eyes will check my return? Just the person preparing it or someone else as well?

4. Do you offer upfront pricing?Are your fees transparent - or do I have to tell you my life story before you show me your prices?

5. Do you offer IRS representation; i.e., can you handle an audit? Do you have a CAF number? How many cases did you represent?

7. Do you attend the annual IRS forum where top practitioners in the field interact with IRS top brass?

9. How do I get my information to you? Do I have to fill out a PDF form?

10. Do you have a PTIN number?

11. Do you have an EFIN number that allows you to file tax returns electronically on my behalf?

12. Do you store my documents in case I need them years later?

14. Do you offer consultations?