We’ve all heard the jokes about tax lawyers. But you know what? While some of them might be a bit boring, they’re also great at helping you with your taxes and getting you the deductions you deserve. If you’re in need of someone to help file your taxes, here’s how to find a tax preparation attorney who will help make sure your taxes are done right and that you get the best return possible.
1. Take the tax prep attorney’s personality into account.
Tax lawyers have many different personalities; some are outgoing, while others are more reserved. You’ll want to find someone who fits into your social circle and has the same interests as you.
If you’re looking for a lawyer who will help teach you about taxes, then you might want someone who isn’t afraid of explaining things in simple terms.
But if you want an expert who will make all of the decisions for you, then a more reserved attorney might be better suited for your needs.
2. Are you able to meet with the tax preparation attorney in person?
Ask about meeting times and where those meetings will take place. Face-to-face meetings are ideal because they allow for immediate feedback and response time from both you and the tax preparation attorney when questions arise.
Many lawyers do not offer in-person sessions but may be able to meet clients via phone or video conference (e.g., Skype). This method can still provide a high level of communication as long as both parties are able to see each other’s faces during conversation.
Some attorneys may even work exclusively over email—if so, it’s important that they have strong written communication skills before committing yourself to their services without having met them previously!
3. How do you and the tax attorney feel about each other?
You should have a conversation with your tax lawyer before you hire him or her. During the conversation, take note of the following:
- How do you and the tax attorney feel about each other?
- Do you feel like they are listening to you, or if they are just waiting for their turn to talk?
- Do they make eye contact with you, or do they stare at their computer screen while they talk to you?
- Do they ask questions about your situation and show interest in what is going on in your life?
- Are they friendly and personable, or are they cold and distant?
These are all important questions that will help you determine whether or not this lawyer is right for you.
4. Are they licensed by the state?
You can easily check if your prospective tax preparation attorney is licensed by the state. You will want to look up the list of qualified tax preparers on your state’s website and compare their names to those you have contacted. If a name does not appear on the list, then that individual is not legally allowed to practice in your area.
If you find out that one of your preferred candidates is not licensed in your state, it might be worth double-checking with them before moving forward with any plans for a new relationship or contract agreement.
It may be that they are working under someone else’s license at present, which would make them an eligible candidate for consideration as well as giving them ample experience should things work out between you and this firm over time!
5. How will they charge you?
The next thing to consider is how they’ll charge you.
- Will they take a percentage of your refund?
- Will they bill you in increments throughout the year and then collect payment?
- What is the timeline for their billing, and what are the consequences if you fail to pay on time?
- How will they collect payments from you (credit card, check, cash)?
- Is there an estimate for how long it will take them to complete all tasks associated with filing your taxes?
Do not be afraid to ask questions about this! If an attorney charges by the hour (per hour or flat rate) or by case load, ask how much time each task takes.
6. Do they work on their own or do they have other attorneys and staff that help them?
If you’re in need of a lawyer, it’s important that the person you choose has enough experience and knowledge to handle your case. If your attorney works with other lawyers and staff members, then they may be able to offer more services than what one person can possibly do alone.
On the other hand, if a lawyer is working alone without any other legal professionals helping them out, then it’s best for you to look elsewhere since this could lead to problems during future cases.
7. How big are their cases?
If you’re looking for a tax preparation attorney to help you with your taxes, it’s important to know how big the cases are that they’ve worked on.
If your case is a simple one, like just getting together your W-2s and 1099s and filing them, then it’s probably not going to take much time or effort on their part. But if your case has more complex issues—like if you’re starting a business or if you’re trying to get divorced—then it may be better to find someone who specializes in those areas.
8. Does the tax attorney provide you with references?
The best way to find out if a tax attorney is good at what they do is by asking around. Ask friends and family members if they have used this particular attorney before and if their experience was positive or negative.
Do some research online about the reputation of the firm as well as its partners or associates, who may be working on your case. Look for reviews from previous clients and see what they have to say about their experience with the firm.
If there aren’t any reviews available online, ask them how long they have been in business and how many cases they have handled over the years.
9. Is your tax attorney willing to help in the future?
Tax laws change every year, so make sure that your attorney is willing to meet with you again this time next year if needed. Your financial situation can change from year to year as well, so it’s important that your tax attorney is willing to help you with any questions or problems you may have throughout the year.
After going through the above tips, you should have a good idea of how to find the right tax preparation attorney for your needs. The process of ticking the above boxes can be daunting, but it’s worth it in the long run.
Tax preparation is super important, so you have to feel confident in your tax attorney. Don’t forget about the importance of being punctual and prepared for any meetings or court dates with your chosen tax preparation attorney.
Finally, remember the golden rule: if you don’t feel comfortable working with a specific tax preparation attorney, there are plenty more options out there!