Find the Right Tax Preparer


If you are like me, you worry about your taxes throughout the year. Of course, this stress culminates in February or March when I finally need to sit down, organize my documents and thoughts, and file a final return.

Over the years, I have found one thing to be true when it comes to taxes: hire a professional unless you are 100 percent sure of what you are doing. Sure, this is going to cost money. But the peace of mind that it gives you is well worth the few hundred dollars. Finding the right tax professional can be a stressful process in its own right. Not only do you need to find the right person, but you must also make sure that they have experience in the area in which you need assistance.

Fortunately, I have been lucky enough to only need a tax professional when filing my final return. For this reason, my H&R Block tax prep professional works out just fine. She is an enrolled agent, knows the ins and outs of the tax system, and can quickly move through my return without making any mistakes. On top of this, her prices are reasonable and I can pay an extra $30 or so for audit protection.

There are other types of tax professionals out there. For example, a certified public accountant can help you in a variety of ways including with any business accounting needs that you may have. What about a tax attorney? Hopefully you never have to think about hiring this type of professional. They work with taxpayers who are in trouble with the IRS, such as for tax evasion or a lien on their property.

I live in a big city. Because of my location, there are thousands of tax professionals to choose from. Since you will likely have more than one choice, you need to base your decision on factors including: experience, proximity to your home, and of course, how well you get along with the person.

With this advice you have a starting point to make it easier to find and hire the right tax professional, regardless of your situation.

Chris Bibey is a freelance writer and internet marketing consultant based in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. He has two books in print, and is working on a third. Chris manages a popular freelance writing blog, while also writing for sites such as and MoneyCrashers.

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  1. FinanceGuy

    4 years ago

    It is hard to find the right tax preparer, but I think it is always good to start by asking for referrals from people you trust, such as friends and family. Alternatively, you can often research online directories, which sometimes provide ratings of professionals by other users, such as or

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