They say two things are certain: Death and Taxes. Well filing taxes has become so cumbersome and complex that taxes just might be the death of you if you aren’t careful. Last year, almost 80 million tax returns were submitted by hired tax professionals. If you want yours done right and accurately, you should consider paying an expert to help you with yours, too.
But not all tax preparers are equal. You need to find the right professional with the right credentials and experience needed for your unique tax situation.
So where do you go to choose the right tax preparer for you? Here’s a few places to look:
Use a Tax Franchise Chain
A popular place to find a tax prepare is a tax preparation chain, such as H&R Block, Jackson Hewitt, Liberty Tax, etc. These franchises train their employees each season and use specialize tax software.
Preparers at these places however generally are only equipped to handle simple tax returns, and generally charge flat fees. They may be suitable for individuals who are looking to get their refunds quickly and early and don’t have complex tax situations.
However, they may not be the best option. There have been numerous complaints about chains overcharging customers, or making costly mistakes on tax returns, so be careful. If you’re not in urgent and immediate need of your tax refund, you may be better off skipping the tax preparation chains.
Use an Enrolled Agent (EA)
Enrolled Agents (EAs) are federally-licensed tax practitioners who are required to pass an IRS exam (or work for the IRS) and complete ongoing tax education and enroll in courses regularly. The enrolled agent license is the highest credential the IRS gives out.
EAs have unlimited rights to represent a taxpayer. If you get called into a meeting or hearing with the IRS, get audited or targeted for collection action, an EA can speak directly to the IRS on your behalf.
EAs often specialize, so you may be able to find an agent with expertise in the specific area(s) you need for your tax situation. Use the National Association of Enrolled Agents website to search for an EA that meets your criteria.
Use a Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are state-licensed professionals who have passed the challenging accounting exam and are required to complete continuing professional education credits in order to retain their licensed status.
In addition to preparing your tax return, a CPA may be able to help you with your overall financial plan and tax strategy. If you have a complex financial situation such as owning one or more businesses or rental properties, or if you’re going through a life-changing event such as retirement or divorce, a CPA may be the best option. Like EAs, they can fully represent a taxpayer. Visit the American Institute of CPAs website to learn more about CPAs.
However, keep in mind that not every CPA focuses on taxes or has experience with your situation. Look for a Bolingbrook CPA who specializes in tax preparation, and make sure you ask about their experience.
Use a Tax Attorney
A tax attorney specializes in tax-related legal issues. Although they may not necessarily focus on filing tax returns, they can help you if you are audited, need to pay back taxes, own a corporation or are facing criminal tax charges.
A tax attorney can represent a client before both the IRS and the court. They can also provide guidance on complicated tax matters, such as setting up legal tax shelters. Because tax attorneys tend to specialize, make sure to check that they have experience in the areas that pertain to your situation.
Finding a tax attorney requires just a local internet search.
There are many ways to find a tax preparer near you. The easiest way to get started is just to do a search on Tax preparation Bolingbrook.
The 14th anniversary Naperville Wine Festival runs along from 5pm to 10 p.m. this Friday and Saturday at the beautiful CityGate Centre located here in the center of Naperville. It will be a wonderful time for both domestic and international wines as well as local craft beers, food and music in the typical fun and relaxing atmosphere said the event’s organizers.
The wine liaison for this year’s festival will be Victoria Peterson of Peterson Spirits and Fine Wines in Naperville. According to organizers, Victoria has “elevated the caliber of wines that will be sampled and for purchase at the festival this year,” he said.
” The music will be associated with some demonstrations from Whole Foods, which will take place both days,” he said. “And we haven’t had a price increase in over four years. It’s still a very reasonably-priced event.”
The price of admission gets you 12 tasting tickets for one-ounce samples likewise with the ability to buy 12 more tasting tickets.
Hotel Arista will again offer hotel packages with the tickets included, he said.
There will be over 300 wines from all around the world on hand for attendees to sample, Janess said.
” The majority of the wines will be from the United States, out west, certainly from California, but I know she’s working on introducing several Spanish and Italian and Australian wines again this year.”
If wine isn’t your thing, there will be beer from Stella Artois; a pint which is included in your admissions, he said.
When anyone get famished, there will be eight food suppliers providing a variety of vittles.
” We have treats likewise; we have a fun one with Guilty Pleasurez, they’re doing cocktail cupcakes which are infused with wine, which is a lot of fun,” Janess said.
Live music will be provided each day. The band Sons of Bildor kick off the fest and perform both days at 5:30 p.m. Billy Croft and the 5 Alarm will headline Friday evening at 7:45 p.m.
” We’re going to infuse a little country this year on Friday evening,” Janess said. “It will be a lot of fun. They played at another of our events this year and everybody loved them.”
For the third year in a row, 97Nine will headline Saturday, playing rock ‘n’ roll from the ’70s to current hits.
Between the bands, Whole Foods will present a seminar at 6:45 p.m. both days called “Innovate Your Cheese Plate.”
The wine distributors will take the time to educate guests on each wine and help them choose their samplings, he said.
People tell him they enjoy the ease of getting around the event, the high-class feel of the festival and the caliber of wines, he said.
” There’s a little bit of everything for everyone,” he said. “We’ll have plenty of food and plenty of entertainment. If it’s warm, we will provide free water. Wear comfortable shoes because you’ll be walking around quite a bit. Gather your friends and make a great evening out of it.”
A portion of the proceeds from the Naperville Wine Festival goes to the Naperville Area Humane Society.
Annie Alleman is a freelance writer.
Naperville Wine Festival
When: Friday, Saturday, Aug. 12-13
Where: CityGate Centre, 2155 CityGate Lane, Naperville
Tickets: $40; $15 for designated driver
Information: 847-382-3270; napervillewinefestival.com
Naperville News, That's Awesome
The DuPage Drones are set to debut in the Prospect League in 2016 playing out of the Lisle Sports Complex at Benedictine University. The Drones feature some of the best collegiate baseball talent in the country with many Division 1 players from Power 5 conferences on the roster. The Drones management is led by Josh Schaub, a veteran in the Sports Industry. The Drones are focused on providing affordable exciting family entertainment through the game of baseball. The Drones further focus on providing corporate partners with access to revenue driving promotions driven through in game experiences and out of game media touch points.
Naperville News, That's Awesome
A teen from Naperville is hopping over and skipping the 8th grade and high school to attend college this fall.
Kelly Li, 13, will not be attending her final year at Crone Middle School or high school at Neuqua Valley. The teen will instead be a freshman at Mary Baldwin College, an all-women’s school in Staunton, Va.
Her mother, Lili Xi, said the college has a program that allows girls between 13 and 15 to bypass high school to get an undergraduate degree.
Kelly got a 33 on her ACT in seventh grade and took AP high school classes. She was also on the Fox Valley Swim Team and competed in middle school math teams.
Xi said they had many discussions about whether this was the right decision. Going to college at 13 means Kelly would miss out on milestones such as prom and homecoming.
But she said it’s a good opportunity and that she’s confident Kelly will thrive in college.
Most people know what it feels like to sing alongside Adele as they listen to her through their headphones. But Naperville’s own Allie Gargano of Nequa Valley high school got to know what it feels like to sing with the award-winning songstress live in direct at the United Center in Chicago Illinois.
Singing before a sold-out crowd at Chicago’s United Center is likely a dream come true for Adele, let alone for the young Naperville woman pulled from the audience to share the stage with the megastar chanteuse.
A photo posted on Instagram and a video on YouTube tell the story. Ally Gargano, a Neuqua Valley High School graduate and former member of the Young Naperville Singers, somehow caught the attention of Adele as she sang along at the British singer’s concert Wednesday night.
Gargano was invited onstage to sing a few bars of “Make You Feel My Love,” which seemed to delight the “Hello” singer as she gave the spotlight over to Gargano and stepped back to sing along on the side.
“That was amazing,” Adele said when she finished. “Thanks for pointing her out, guys.”
And while I will try not to be utterly jealous of Allie and the fact that she sang with my most favorite singer ever I will sit here at my computer and congratulate her nonetheless with a jealous scowl on my face.
Congrats again Allie, you have an amazing voice and you should be proud of the opportunity to sing with one of my most favorite artist ever.