Best Practices for Tax Preparers | Huntersure

Best Practices for Tax Preparers

Posted on: April 16, 2020 by Huntersure LLC.

Technology has continued to develop and change faster and faster practically every year. From new phones to new streaming services to new ways to grocery shop, our everyday lives are constantly being directed by technology. The same goes for how we go about filing our taxes and taking care of our finances. E-filing and online tax programs may be user-friendly, but have changed the landscape completely for tax preparers.

While e-filing benefits, like security, convenience, and speed, have made filing taxes through paper and mail options nearly extinct, new processes are required in order to see the maximum benefits of e-filing while also avoiding major liabilities.

Tax preparers should be in the know of the risks they face this tax season. This can help prevent mistakes from happening as well as keeping claims from clients low. Here are some best practices to consider.

Obtain Tax Preparer Insurance

Tax professionals looking to protect their own assets and reputation, holding off the possibility for potentially scandalous tax issues, can obtain tax preparer insurance that can help provide the right resources when looking to keep their businesses and themselves protected. Tax preparer insurance can help to provide accounting professionals peace of mind while they work hard and take on more clients during tax season. A tax preparer insurance program can provide the resources needed to keep pay out claims while also keeping major financial and reputational risks limited.

Review Cybersecurity

With so many tasks being executed digitally, an accounting firm should review its cybersecurity measures. With identity theft on the rise, tax return preparers should understand the potential risks when handling sensitive client information electronically. Tax preparers should determine their firm’s data privacy and security needs and outline safeguards needed to protect their network and information.

Keep an Eye on Email Security

Regardless of whether or not a tax preparer’s clients file their taxes electronically or on paper, when they use email to communicate, their login information should be protected or encrypted to ensure that all documents have maximum protection. With sensitive data and client identity information being passed back and forth via email, having top shelf network security and good data hygiene can help to limit exposure to cyber criminals looking to infiltrate a network.

Avoid Filing Extensions too Late

Due to the COVID-19 outbreak, the Trump administration has approved a delay of this year’s tax filing date, pushing it back to July 15. While this is good news for tax preparers and their clients, there still may be those who need more time through the summer to file. In this case, it’s important to allow a few days before the new tax deadline to e-file extensions and make sure that electronic payments are processed.

Paper Filing May Be the Only Choice

For returns that may need to be filed through traditional methods, such as prior year or amended returns, tax preparers should allow for more time so the client can sign and mail the return on or before the filing deadline.

About Huntersure

Huntersure LLC is a full-service Managing General Agency that has provided insurance program administration for professional liability products to our partners across the United States since 2007. We specialize in providing insurance solutions for businesses of all sizes. Our program features can cover small firms (grossing $2.5 million annually) to large corporations (grossing $25 million annually or more). We make doing business with us easy with our breadth and depth of knowledge of E&O insurance, our proprietary underwriting system that allows for responsive quoting, binding and policy issuance and tailored products to meet the needs of your insureds. Give us a call at (855) 585-6255 to learn more.

Posted in: Tax Preparers