Finding a tax preparation company can be tough if you don’t know what to look out for. There are so many companies online that it can be hard to filter through all of the results. Most companies will have similar services they offer but you need to be focused on what the companies won’t tell you up front. Do they have references, will they give you a free consultation, and do they charge by the hour or per the service?
Do they have references?
Most trustworthy companies will offer references upon request. They won’t have them listed on their websites because of security and keeping personalized information safe but they will have customers that have agreed to have them listed as references. If a customer really enjoys the business of a company they are most likely to refer that company to someone else. Also, check your social media sites or put up a poll in yahoo answers to query whether users like a particular service over the other.
Do they offer a free consultation?
Most tax preparation companies will offer a free tax consultation to get you in the door and they will go over the different options you have to get your taxes done. Make sure you have the most important information already ready for them. Sometimes they will be able to give you a general quote right there over the phone or email. If the company doesn’t offer a free consultation, don’t worry about it, there will be plenty of companies that do. Also, if you want a free consultation that you can do yourself, all you have to do is download the Turbo Tax software and they will let you input all your information and tell you how much you could expect to receive on your income tax without ever paying.
Do they charge by the hour or service?
The only way that charging by the hour works well for some people is if you have a very small return that you are expecting. Otherwise, paying by the service is the best way to go. It insures that you will pay the same amount to the company regardless of the amount of your refund. If you have a lot of information that needs to be documented to do your taxes, don’t go with a company that offers services by the hour, you will only waste your money.
Make sure and do adequate research before hiring a random company off of the internet. It’s too easy to get scammed these days. Plus, these days, it doesn’t take a lot of work to be able to verify the trustworthiness of a company online. Yelp and other business listing services usually have raitings and reviews as well. A couple Google searches can tell you everything you need to know about a company within 10-20 minutes or so.