Here are some tips on where to look:
If you are a member of the National Association for Family Child Care you have access to a tax preparer directory that I developed. This directory is somewhat outdated, so there will be listings of those who are no longer in business. Those on this list do have experience in preparing family child care tax returns. I am not recommending any name on this list but it is a good place to start.
The National Association of Enrolled Agents has a listing of their members on their website. An Enrolled Agent (EA) is someone who has passed an IRS examination and is likely to be familiar with tax issues affecting small businesses such as yours. An EA can also represent you in the event of an IRS audit – 202-822-6232.
The National Association of Tax Professionals has a listing of their members on their website. Members of this professional association include individual tax preparers, EAs, accountants, attorneys and financial planners – 800-558-3402.
The IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program offers free tax help to low to moderate income taxpayers ($40,000 net income). Not all VITA sites will help you with your business tax forms. To find the VITA site closest to you, call 800-829-1040.
Ask these people for the names of tax professionals in your area: fellow providers, your local family child care association, and your local child care resource and referral agency.
Once you find a tax professional you want to feel confident that he or she is correctly filing your tax return. My book – the Family Child Care Tax Companion is designed for child care providers who use tax professionals. It is a series of worksheets tied to specific IRS tax forms that you can use to compare against what your tax professional puts on your tax return. It is the perfect tool to help you identify potential errors – before your taxes are filed – and contains help on resolving problems with your tax preparer.
This is the first of a three-part blog on how family child care providers can get help in filing their 2010 taxes. My next blog will be on Questions to Ask Your Tax Professional and the third blog will be on Should Family Child Care Providers Use Tax Software?
I’m happy to answer your questions about how to find a good tax professional – firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Copeland – www.tomcopelandblog.com
Image credit: seattleorganicseo.com
For more information, see my book Family Child Care Tax Companion.