Hiring a Tax Preparer

Income Tax

In North Carolina, anyone can call himself or herself an accountant (as opposed to a Certified Public Accountant). No special training or education is required. If your taxes are very simple, you may be okay going to an non-certified accountant or tax preparation firm such as H&R Block.

However, if your return is at all complex, or you are looking for tax advice and planning assistance, your bet bet is to hire a CPA, Enrolled Agent, or Tax Attorney. Also, keep in mind that only these three professionals will be able to represent you in the event of an audit.

CPAs must pass an exam and have meet certain edcuational and experience requirements. Enrolled Agents have passed an exam administered by the IRS. Tax attorneys often have a masters degree in tax (LL.M..) in addition to a law degree. Some tax attorneys do not prepare returns, but those that do can often offer a different perspective from CPAs, who may tend to be more conservative.

This article on the Fox News website provides some additional information.

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