You don't have legal problems with taxes. A tax attorney isn't necessary. I don't like accountants because I've dealt with too many of them and have found that very few of them actually know what they're talking about. The majority just want to collect your money in April, fill out your return, and see-ya-next-year. During tax season is the wrong time to be asking tax planning questions. It is too late for planning. You may have a better resulting with ask questions during a quieter time year. If and when you do get audited, they just say "but I only filled out the return based on what the client told me!!" and disclaim all responsibility for error. And in the past when I did discover errors they had made that cost me thousands, they NEVER apologized. The best they offer is to re-do the returns at "no additional charge" (the nerve). Tax prepares are not mind readers. They should be asking detailed questions, and preparing the return based on information provided. Reasonable expectations is that they will fix their errors without charge, and be liable for any penalties due to their mistakes. I understand the problems with incompetent tax prepares. An in-law's tax preparer created a large mess, and died in an accident just before she was audited. Her sister felt his company should fix the problems they created. Given the mess was created through their incompetency, I didn't want them talking to the IRS. An Enrolled Agent can represent you with the IRS. It is not a requirement for a tax preparer, but gives a little more confidence that they are a competent tax preparer. Have you asked friends or coworkers for recommendations? They may give you recommendations for local independent tax prepares. Tax season is approaching. If you are going to interview and try to find someone for 2012 taxes it should be soon. Finding a financial planner that can be trusted is difficult. I haven't found one that I would allow to manage a significant amount of my assets. A financial planner who you pay (fee based) as opposed to commission based avoids some of the conflict of interest and would be more likely to give you good advice.
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