Filing income taxes is not exactly fun for most people. Some people fill out the paperwork on their own. Others use tax prep software, and still others hire an accountant to file their taxes. For most people, hiring an accountant who provides tax services is the most time-conscious option. But you might have some questions about hiring a tax professional if this is your first time doing so.

What paperwork do you need to give the tax professional?

In general, you will need to provide them with copies of all of your income statements, including W2s and 1099s. You'll also need to provide documentation of any tax credits you might be eligible for. For example, if you installed a new furnace and are eligible for a green energy credit, you'll need to give your accountant a copy of the receipt for the furnace. Bring whatever you can gather to the appointment. If the tax preparer needs additional documents, they will ask for them, and you can either bring them in or email them later.

Will hiring a tax professional help you avoid being audited?

People who have their taxes filed professionally can still be audited. However, the risk of being audited is likely lower than if you were to file your own taxes. A tax professional is less likely to make mistakes that result in an audit. And if you are audited, a tax preparer can handle the audit and interact with the IRS on your behalf, which is a major benefit.

When will you get your refund?

If you are owed a tax refund, it will come back to you, from the IRS, within a few weeks of when your taxes are filed. However, some tax preparers do give their customers an amount equivalent to their tax refund as soon as their taxes are filed. Then, when the official IRS return comes, the tax preparer will keep it in compensation. You should never be required to choose this option, but if you need your refund quickly, you can certainly look for a tax preparer who offers "instant returns."

Hopefully, this article has answered some of your most burning questions about tax services and their benefits. If you're short on time, have a complicated return, or want to reduce your chances of an audit, hiring a pro is usually the way to go. 

For more information about tax services, contact a local company.