Hiring a Tax Professional - WSVN-TV - 7NEWS Miami Ft. Lauderdale News, Weather, Deco

Hiring a Tax Professional

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WSVN -- Eric Ansel has used a C.P.A. to do his taxes for years.

Eric Ansel: "I think the first thing you have to acknowledge is when you need other advice."

Eric knew he needed help because he has property and investments, but not all tax returns are so complex. If your return is simple pro's say you can do it yourself.

Howard Hammer: "They don't own any property, they don't have significant investments for them I would recommend a tax preparation software."

If you have a home and some investments, you might just need a reputable tax preparation service like an H&R Block. Once a year at tax time but if you need advice all year long to make sure your taxes are in order it's time to consider hiring an accountant.

There are questions you should ask:

Howard Hammer: "I would ask the C.P.A where you went to school? I would ask the C.P.A how long have you been practicing? I would ask the C.P.A what is your particular expertise? That would be the key question."

You should also ask what licenses or designations the accountant has? What the fees are and if he feels he can address your needs.

Also, ask friends for referrals and shop around.

Howard Hammer: "I liken it to a first date. I think within 15 or 20 minutes you can tell if you're with a person who you're going to be able to work with. Now that gets refined over time but you can tell if it's someone that you like."

Eric says it's good to know his taxes are being handled by an expert who's looking out for him.

Eric Ansel: "I know it wouldn't have happened if I would have done it on my own or gotten lesser advice from somebody less than a C.P.A."

Lynn Martinez: "If you're thinking of hiring a C.P.A. make sure you also check their license status to see if any disciplinary actions has been taken against them.

If you have story ideas for Money Monday, email us at moneymonday@wsvn.com

FOR MORE INFORMATION:

Tips For Finding the Right Tax Accountanthttp://taxes.about.com/od/findataxpreparer/a/tax_accountant.htm

Checklist: 10 Things to Ask Your Prospective Accountanthttp://www.businesslink.gov.uk/bdotg/action/detail?itemId=1073791726&type=RESOURCES

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