Hiring a Tax Preparer? Don’t Proceed Without Asking These 7 Questions First

Navigating the complex world of tax filing is a major challenge for small businesses. With so many obligations, many business owners choose to hire a tax preparer to file for them.

However, it is important you choose your tax preparer wisely. Your preparer will gain access to very sensitive information about your business and its finances. You need to make sure you are only working with highly-experienced and competent professionals.

These 7 questions will help you determine if your tax preparer is legitimate and effective and ensure you receive nothing but the highest level of service.

For more information on accounting and tax specialists visit: https://www.gudorftaxgroup.com/services/payroll-services/

Hiring a Tax Preparer? Don’t Proceed Without Asking These 7 Questions First - tax return image

Photo by Acharaporn Kamornboonyarush from Pexels

What is Your Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN)?

The first question you need the answer to should be “is this person legitimate?” Well, asking for their PTIN number is doing just that.

Any professional who prepares tax returns should be accredited by the IRS. This means they will have a valid PTIN number. You can check the official IRS PTIN registry here and confirm your tax preparer has a valid PTIN number and is legally allowed to file someone else’s tax returns.

What Experience do You Have with Similar Tax Situations?

Your tax situation is unique to you. For someone that has not dealt with a similar situation before it could be a lot of work. Find out what similar tax cases your preparer has handled in the past and their previous tax-filing experience.

What Qualifications do you Have?

While formal training isn’t essential for becoming a tax preparer, the best ones have some qualifications and professional education. Look for those with a certified public accountant (CPA) qualification, a certified financial planner (CFP) qualification, or those who have completed the IRS’ Annual Filing Season Program (AFSP).

Do You Belong to a Professional Association?

Most professional associations require the preparer to behave in accordance with the group’s code of conduct and set of ethics. If they are linked to a professional association, it could be an indication that they work to the very best standards of practice.

What Records and Documents Will you Need from Me?

Any reputable tax preparer will ask you to provide documents which detail a thorough record of your income and expenses. They should also be able to effectively explain what special schedules and tax circumstances you could qualify for, as well as the requirements for those.

If your planner doesn’t mention any special circumstances or ask any questions regarding your current circumstances to determine what you may qualify for, it could be a red flag that they are not willing to do work required to secure you the best tax rate.

Can You File My Returns Electronically?

Not all preparers are authorized to file electronically. However, it is in your interests to find one that can. It saves time on acceptance and allows you to secure your refund (if you are deemed to deserve one) far faster than through paper returns. The IRS website has a database of all the preparers authorized to file electronically. You can check to see if your preparer is listed there.

How do You Determine Your Fees?

Before you can proceed, you need to know the fee structure. Most preparers charge by the hour but should be able to give a rough estimate of how much the total project will cost.

How To Recover From An Accident

How to recover from an accident - injured teddy image


We all often worry about what we’d do in other people’s situations when we see bad things happening. We put ourselves in their shoes and think about whether we’d do anything differently, while hoping that we never have to find out for real. But sometimes you may find yourself to be in an unfortunate scenario where you’re caught in the middle of an accident or end up injuring yourself. You may get off lightly and only have a bruised leg from a potential slip, or a little scratch on the bumper of your car, but sometimes you may not be so lucky meaning the outcome will change slightly, as you may have to undergo surgery or some form of rehabilitation to get you back to where you were before the incident. Whatever your circumstances may be, it’s crucial that you do all the necessary things to ensure that you have covered yourself, and got the care you need.

Here’s what you need to do to recover from an accident.

Get checked out

Even if you feel fine, you may actually just be in shock, and so you don’t feel any strong pain from where you’ve been hurt. When this happens, it’s easy to say you’re okay and just go home. But sometimes, you may wake up the next day in excruciating agony and then realise that something isn’t right, and this could now be even worse than it was because you carried on doing things as normal when really you should’ve been seen to by a doctor or a nurse. So always pay close attention to yourself, and see someone regardless of whether you think you’re okay or not.

Get some evidence of the accident

No matter what it is that’s happened, you should always try and get as much evidence of the incident so that you can back up what happened if ever it got taken into more serious matters. Nowadays with the help of technology being what it is, it’s easy to document everything by snapping photos on your phone. So photograph your injuries and how they may change as the time goes on, photograph the scene of the crime, and also anything else that may be of use to you, like a car registration number or the name of the area that you’re in.

Get the compensation you deserve

If you have been injured as a result, then you should always think about contacting companies like Smith Jones Solicitors that will work closely with you to get you the compensation that you deserve. Bear in mind that if you were in a car accident for example, and your vehicle got damaged, you may end up paying for more than you should. But with the help of a professional solicitor, they will be able to build up a solid case and ensure you’re looked after correctly, and aren’t overspending on something that wasn’t even your fault.

Now you know what to do to help best recover from an accident, remember this if ever you find yourself in one of these situations.

How To Celebrate Your Birthday For Free!

Think back to your last birthday: What did you do? Did you throw a party? Go out to dinner with friends? Treat yourself to a mini shopping spree or buy that big-ticket item you’d been eyeing? Now think: How much money did you spend?

Your birthday is a day to feel pampered and special—but it can also be a day that gets expensive, fast. If you’re looking for a way to celebrate big without spending bit, look no further than birthday freebies.

From restaurants and retailers to movie theaters and arcades, there’s no shortage of ways to have fun and save money on your birthday. In fact, so many places offer free birthday stuff that you can celebrate all day—from a special breakfast in the morning to birthday cake at night—without spending a dime.

To help get you started, Wikibuy created an infographic showing you all the ways to have a free birthday. Check out the full visual below, and get to celebrating.

Free birthday stuff


Your Complete Guide To Buying A Motability Vehicle

There are lots of different innovations that have been designed in order to help individuals with physical disabilities have a much more comfortable life. One of these is the Motability vehicle. There are many different types of Motability vehicles available at present to try and help individuals take more control of their ability to get to different places. This ranges from those that have been designed to take passengers who are in wheelchairs to cars that have been constructed in order to allow people with certain disabilities to drive. So, how do you choose the right Motability car?

Your Complete Guide To Buying A Motability Vehicle - car dashboard image


Steps to take first

If you are looking to drive a Motability vehicle it is imperative that you have a driving license which is up-to-date. If you are yet to inform the DVLA (Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency) about your disability you need to make sure you do so. They must be aware of any type of condition that can impact your ability to drive. This does not mean you won’t be able to drive at all of course. There are many instances whereby adapted controls and changes like this are all that is required, which is where your Motability car comes into play.

Financial aid available to you

The next thing you need to do is look for financial aid via the UK Motability scheme. What is available to you all depends on your disability and other personal factors. There are many different opportunities at your disposal. These schemes will present that with the chance to use grants and subsidies in order to purchase or lease a car which is suited to your physical condition. You will typically need to have one of the following in order to benefit from the Motability scheme; war pensioners’ mobility supplement, armed forces independence payment, PIP (personal independence payment) enhanced mobility component and/or DLA (disability living allowance) high rate mobility component. If you are applicable, you can benefit from the likes of a new or used car on hire purchase from between two to five years or even a brand new car on a three-year contract hire lease. There are also nearly new vehicles too, like nearly new Vauxhall cars and Ford cars that have been adapted to help those with disabilities, so you have plenty of options available.

Choosing the right Motability car for you

Once you have done this, you will then be in the position to select the right Motability vehicle for you. There are so many different factors that come into play. Make sure you read reviews that have been left by others who have used the vehicle. This is the best way to get an honest assessment of what it is actually like and whether it is worth acquiring. In addition to this, you also need to think about how you are going to get in and out of the vehicle and how many passengers are likely to travel inside. Furthermore, don’t forget to think about your typical surroundings either, such as what the parking is like at your home. This will impact aspects such as vehicle access.

The important thing to recognise from this blog post is that there is a wealth of opportunities for those who are physically disabled when it comes to Motability vehicles and, therefore, it is worth investigating whether there is something for you.

How It All Works: Are Secured Loans Better Than Unsecured Loans?

Money, money, money! Everybody wants some more, but unfortunately, it isn’t always there when you need it. Whenever you have some kind of emergency, you may have to consider getting a loan. According to statistics, more people are seeking personal loans than ever before.

But before you go out and sign up for one, it’s important to understand the differences between the two types of loans – secured and unsecured loans.

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Unsecured Loans

This is a type of loan where that does not require any kind of collateral. All the lender will ask for is a bank statement and an agreement to repay the debt. If you fail to pay, the lender cannot take the assets you bought with the money. The lender also has no right to dictate how you use your assets. Thanks to the simple documentation required, these types of loans are widely available to everyone. The whole process is very short because you can get fast approval. This is much more convenient than seeking a loan from a bank and the terms of repayment are often quite flexible.

However, there are some disadvantages. Since there is no security for the loan, the lender carries a higher risk in case of default in payment. Unfortunately, this means that you will have to pay a higher rate of interest. Examples of unsecured loan include retail credit cards, personal loans, and student loans.

Secured Loans

This is the type of loan where you are required to provide some kind of collateral. The lender will ask you to pledge some kind of asset that you own as a way of guaranteeing repayment of the money. This collateral is usually something that has value, for example, cars, real estate, stocks, personal belongings, money, or even livestock. If you fail to pay back the loan as stipulated, the lender simply sells the collateral to pay off the debt. Examples of secured loans include car loans, home equity loans, and mortgages.

A secured loan has certain advantages. Firstly, it has lower interest rates. This is because the lender isn’t taking much of a risk due to the availability of collateral. Secondly, these loans have a more relaxed credit requirement. Finally, a secured loan enables you to borrow a larger amount of money. The disadvantages of secured loans include potential repossession of your assets in case of default. The lender can also restrict your usage of the collateral, thus preventing you from altering, depleting, or relocating the asset.

As you can see, an unsecured loan is a much more convenient way to get access to cash whenever you need it. However, there are a few things you must keep in mind. An unsecured loan should be taken out only for emergencies. Another factor to consider is the high rate of interest. Always make sure that you can actually pay back the loan on time. At the end of the day, knowledge is power. You need to understand what you are getting into before signing on the dotted line. Examine the pros and cons and decide the best kind of loan that will suit your needs.