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tax accountantTaxes and accounting are never going away, and neither is the need for professionals, like tax accountants, to help us through the pain of them. And with a new tax law on the books, it’s going to be even more complicated to file your taxes in the near future. This year’s income tax return filing season is coming to a close, so if you have not found your accountant yet, it’s definitely time to start. Here are some tips to help you find a great tax accountant in New York City.

Tax Identification Number

Anyone who prepares federal tax returns will require a preparer tax identification number (PTIN). It’s important to note that these are only required for those who are preparing the tax return for compensation. This means that those who volunteer to prepare their friend or family member’s return do not require a PTIN. For those who prepare the return for compensation, the PTIN needs to go on the form. Make sure to ask your tax accountant for their PTIN before you begin the return process.

Electronic File

Electronic filing started in 1990, according to Forbes, and it is certainly the easiest and fastest way to file most individual tax returns. Not only that, but the IRS requires a paid tax accountant to file returns electronically if the accountant has filed 10 or more returns for clients, unless the client decides to opt out of electronic filing. In this case, if your tax accountant does not offer electronic income tax return filing, they may not be practicing that often.

Will they sign?

The law requires that paid tax return preparers sign their client’s return as well as put down their PTIN. The signature means that all the information on the form is correct, and they are vouching that they are the ones who prepared the return. It would be unwise to allow a paid tax accountant to prepare and file your return if they are not willing to sign it.

In New York City, the personal income tax rate has a range from 4% to 8.82% as of 2017. Finding a tax accountant that knows their stuff to get you the proper rates and write-offs is important, so consider these few tips to find the right accountant for you.