Nearly 60% Canadians use paid tax services to file their tax returns. The reason behind this is the complicated tax laws of the country. Another reason is that many people are not aware of many updates or changes that take place in the rules and regulations thus making them miss deductions that they might be eligible for. Hiring good tax services to file your returns help you not only save time, they also help you save money by pointing out any deductions you missed. Once you have decided to seek professional help to file your returns your next step is to find a good tax service. You need to find a tax service that you can trust and can use in future too. Here are some points to keep in mind while selecting a tax service. You need to be able to differentiate between a good tax service and a bad one.
Differences between a good and bad tax service
• Possess a valid PTIN (Preparer Tax Identification Number)
It is a number given by Canada Revenue Agency (CRA) to paid tax preparers so that they will not have to use their social insurance numbers (SIN) on the return forms they prepare. Bad tax services use wrong PINs or someone else’s PINs. Check the validity of the PIN on the CRA website.
• Has relevant certificates, licenses and experience
A good tax service would have the right credentials and licenses to carry out their work. Certificates like CPA (Chartered Professional Accountant),CFP (Certified Financial Planner), EA (Enrolled Agent) or law degree means that the tax preparer has passed certain exams. A good tax service will have the required experience too in preparing tax returns. There is a Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) training program conducted by CRA. Person passing this program is also certified to prepare basic returns
• Keeps information secure
You would want your financial information to be kept safe and secure. Good tax preparers know this and would never ask you to send information through unsafe or unsecure means. They would never ask you to sign a blank tax return form. A good tax service would always direct your refunds to a bank account given by you and not to some unknown account. They would also ask for previous years return papers for reference. This shows that they are serious towards their work and do not want to miss anything while filling returns for you.
A good tax service has a flat fee structure irrespective of your refund amount. Any tax service that charges fees as a percentage of your refund would tend to file for returns that you are not eligible for.
While hiring a tax service make well informed choices and be wary of unscrupulous services.