Tax Professionals Types
There are various types of tax professionals that you can select from to prepare your tax return, including enrolled agents, certified public accountants, attorneys, and many others who don’t have a professional credential.
It is reasonable to expect your tax professional to be skilled in tax preparation, tax laws and to ultimately prepare an accurate and complete income tax return. You trust him or her with your most personal information. They know about your marriage, your income, your children and your social security numbers all of the private and personal details of your financial life. So, you want to make sure that you select the best tax professional possible.
Choosing The Right Tax Professional
Unfortunately, many taxpayers are hurt financially every year because they choose the wrong tax professional. There are a couple of things to keep in mind when looking for the best tax professional so that this doesn’t happen to you:
- Anyone can be a paid tax return preparer as long as they have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN). However, tax return preparers have differing levels of skills, education and expertise. This is important to keep in mind because not all tax professionals have the same skill, knowledge and experience level.
- Enrolled agents, certified public accountants, and attorneys have unlimited representation rights before the IRS. Tax professionals with these credentials may represent their clients on any matters including audits, payment/collection issues, and appeals.
- Enrolled Agents are the only tax professionals licensed by the IRS. Enrolled agents are subject to a suitability check and must pass a three-part Special Enrollment Examination, which is a comprehensive exam that requires them to demonstrate proficiency in federal tax planning, individual and business tax return preparation, and representation. They are the only credentialed tax professional with unlimited representation rights whose focus and specialty is strictly taxes.
- Preparers without one of the above credentials have limited practice rights. They may only represent clients whose returns they prepared and signed, but only before revenue agents, customer service representatives, and similar IRS employees, including the Taxpayer Advocate Service. They cannot represent clients whose returns they did not prepare and they cannot represent clients regarding appeals or collection issues even if they did prepare the return in question. In general, they have the least amount of tax skills, knowledge and experience.
Our goal at Tax Samaritan is to provide the best counsel, advocacy and personal service for our clients. We are not only tax preparation and representation experts, but strive to become valued business partners. Tax Samaritan is committed to understanding our client’s unique needs; every tax situation is different and requires a personal approach in providing realistic and effective solutions.
If you would like a quote, please click on the button below for a free, no obligation Tax Preparation quote and/or free 30-minute consultation to discuss your situation further:
Tax Samaritan is a team of Enrolled Agents with over 25 years of experience focusing on US tax preparation and representation. We maintain this tax blog where all articles are written by Enrolled Agents. Our main objective is to educate US taxpayers on their tax responsibilities and the selection of a tax professional. Our articles are also designed to help taxpayers looking to self prepare, providing specific tips and pitfalls to avoid.
When looking for a tax professional, choose carefully. We recommend that you hire a credentialed tax professional such as Tax Samaritan that is an Enrolled Agent (America’s Tax Experts). If you are a US taxpayer overseas, we further recommend that you seek a professional who is experienced in expat tax preparation, like Tax Samaritan (most tax professionals have limited to no experience with the unique tax issues of expat taxpayers).
Randall Brody is an enrolled agent, licensed by the US Department of the Treasury to represent taxpayers before the IRS for audits, collections and appeals. To attain the enrolled agent designation, candidates must demonstrate expertise in taxation, fulfill continuing education credits and adhere to a stringent code of ethics.
Every effort has been taken to provide the most accurate and honest analysis of the tax information provided in this blog. Please use your discretion before making any decisions based on the information provided. This blog is not intended to be a substitute for seeking professional tax advice based on your individual needs.