IRS WANTS TO SEE YOUR FOREIGN ACCOUNTS
How important it is to file your taxes in the US?
Every US person must file their taxes unless some exceptions apply.
What are the important keys to filing your taxes?
Accuracy is absolutely the key to filing your taxes. Not every tax professional prepares taxes with the required accuracy. Sometimes even CPAs or tax attorneys make mistakes. I have known a CPA, who missed disclosing their client’s foreign business. Such a mistake (an omission) creates a significant risk of a penalty of $25,000+.
According to the Bank Secrecy Act, taxpayers must report to the IRS and keep accurate records of foreign financial accounts, such as bank accounts, brokerage accounts, mutual funds, businesses, retirement accounts, etc. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) Form 114, Report of Foreign Bank and Financial Accounts is the form that a taxpayer would need to use to report it. https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/report-of-foreign-bank-and-financial-accounts-fbar
Steps to take when you are looking for a tax professional:
1. Check Reviews
2. Check Licenses
3. Check Experience
Step 1. Check Tax Professional Reviews
How do you check reviews?
You can conduct a Google search for the company and the tax professional’s names to see what information Google returns about the company and the tax professional. Open Google, type in the name of the tax professional you’re about to hire, and hit “search.” You might be surprised to find information that isn’t directly related to the services you’re looking for. You may discover information about the person’s social life, court records, newspaper news, or even police records. This is the first step in researching your tax professional and their firm.
The tax professional’s feedback and reviews listed in the company profile are not always genuine.
What would separate a real review from a fake review?
Although this is not always the case, the person who provided feedback will usually have their own profile on that social media platform. Check the reviewer profile to see if it is legitimate and is located in the country where the service is provided. You can also see if the reviewer provided feedback on other businesses, who those businesses are, and so on.
Consider the tax professional services listed below:
Here, this business has 26 five-star reviews, and each other the reviews are written by legitimate individuals, who have their own profiles, located in the US and Western Europe.
Each of the reviews contains a description of how the reviewer met the tax professional provided, and what was good about the services. The reviewer also named the tax professionals by their names. Additionally, the reviewer also reviewed other businesses, such as supermarkets, travel agencies, restaurants, parks, etc.
Here are other examples of reviews that can be trusted :
These 29 reviews (from the above profile) are legitimate, since each of the reviewers purchased the services, as shown via the amount the reviewer paid for the services. There is also a detailed description of what the services were, as well as the tax professional’s name. In my opinion, these above reviews are 100% legitimate.
There are other examples that you can find:
The five positive feedbacks are also legitimate here since they are all confirmed via the PTIN Directory business website.
As well as this below profile, which shows BBB 5-star feedback:
BBB always checks business profiles, before they publish them in their database.
Now, let’s talk about the second step, the necessary licenses.
Step 2. Check Tax Professional Licenses
Most businesses list their certificates and licenses on their websites. How do you verify them?
You may need to go to a state or federal agency to see whether the professional is listed there and their license is not expired. For example, if you are looking to check IRS license of a tax professional, you would go on the IRS website to check that.
Step 3. Check Experience.
How do you check experience?
This is most likely the most difficult step. Of course, I cannot advise you to hire a private investigator for this step. Checking someone’s experience is a time-consuming process. A background check can be costly and may have legal ramifications. This step may necessitate caution. However, I would recommend simply looking at the most recent review/feedback that a person/business has on social media. The most recent feedback/review would show the year it was written. That is most likely the year the individual began doing business. The majority of mistakes are made at the start of a person’s career. As a result, the older the feedback/reviews, the more experience the individual or company has.
There are many tax professionals out there, please, be very careful selecting one, so you don’t get in trouble with the IRS.