Choosing a Tax Preparer in Texas FAQ

1. Why should I use a tax preparer in Texas?
Tax laws can be complex, and a preparer can ensure you claim all the deductions and credits you deserve while minimizing your tax burden.
2. What are the qualifications to look for in a tax preparer in Texas?
  • Credentials: Seek a preparer with credentials like CPA (Certified Public Accountant), Enrolled Agent (authorized by the IRS), or preparer with an Annual Filing Season Program Record of Completion.
  • Experience: Choose someone experienced in handling Texas-specific tax situations.
3. Do I need a tax preparer familiar with federal and state tax laws?
Yes! Both federal and state tax laws apply in Texas, so you need a preparer knowledgeable in both.
4. What services should I expect from a Texas tax preparer?
  • Preparing your federal and state tax returns.
  • Identifying relevant deductions and credits.
  • Electronically filing your return (e-filing).
  • Answering your tax questions throughout the year (within reason).
5. How much does a tax preparer typically charge in Texas?
Fees vary depending on the complexity of your return and the preparer’s experience. Get quotes from several professionals.
6. Should I consider online tax preparation services?
Online options can be cheaper for simple returns, but for complex situations, a personal preparer might be more beneficial.
7. What are some questions I should ask potential tax preparers in Texas?
  • What are your qualifications and experience with Texas tax laws?
  • What services do you offer?
  • What are your fees?
  • Do you offer a free consultation?
  • How will you communicate with me throughout the process?
  • How do you ensure the security of my tax information?
8. Are there any red flags to watch out for when choosing a tax preparer?
  • Unrealistic guarantees of high refunds.
  • Pressure to sign before reviewing your return.
  • Unwillingness to answer your questions clearly.
  • Unethical practices like suggesting fake deductions.
9. Is it better to choose a national chain or a local tax preparer in Texas?
Both options have pros and cons. National chains may offer standardized processes, while local preparers might have more personalized service and knowledge of regional tax nuances.
10. When should I start looking for a tax preparer in Texas?
Ideally, before tax season gets hectic. Consider contacting potential preparers by the end of the year.
11. What documents should I bring to my first meeting with a tax preparer?
  • Prior year tax returns.
  • W-2s and 1099s (income documents).
  • Receipts for deductible expenses (if itemizing).
  • Proof of any other relevant income or deductions.
12. What happens after I choose a tax preparer in Texas?
The preparer will review your documents, discuss your situation, and prepare your return. You will have a chance to review and approve the return before it’s filed.
13. Is my tax information secure with a tax preparer?
Reputable preparers will have data security measures in place. Ask about their security practices.
14. What if I get audited by the IRS after using a tax preparer?
Some preparers offer audit representation services, but not all. Ask about their policy in case of an audit.
15. Can I switch tax preparers in Texas year after year?
Yes, you are not obligated to use the same preparer every year.
16. What online resources can help me learn more about tax preparers in Texas?
  • The Texas Society of Certified Public Accountants (https://www.tx.cpa/) website.
  • The IRS website (https://www.irs.gov/) directory of tax professionals.