I often hear family child care providers ask at my workshops, “How can I find a tax professional who understands my business?”
Here are some tips on where to look:
I’ve posted a tax preparer directory on the website of the National Association for Family Child Care. This directory is somewhat outdated, so there will be listings of those who are no longer in business.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 ($50,000 net income and below). Unfortunately, many VITA sites will not help you with your business tax forms. To find the VITA site closest to you, call 800-906-9887.
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.
See also an article by the IRS: Tips to Help You Choose a Tax Preparer.
I’m happy to answer your questions about how to find a good tax professional – email@example.com
An earlier version of this article appeared on my blog in 2011.
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Here’s where to learn more about my Family Child Care Tax Companion.