Can a bookkeeper do tax returns?

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A bookkeeper’s job traditionally involves recording and organizing all your financial transactions and preparing your financial statements. While some bookkeepers do offer the service of preparing and filing your tax returns, it is quite uncommon. The bookkeepers who can do your taxes on your behalf must have an IRS Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) to be authorized to prepare tax returns in the United States. It is important to find out when looking for a bookkeeper what services they do offer and what qualifications they have to perform those services.

So, while there are a few bookkeepers who can do your taxes for you, most businesses employ a bookkeeper for the daily year-round tasks to keep their books up-to-date and accurate then turn to a qualified accountant, such as a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), for all tax preparation and filing. An accountant typically has more tax knowledge than a bookkeeper and will be more up-to-date with all tax laws and potential deductions. Keep in mind, that an accountant cannot do their job properly without those up-to-date records your bookkeeper kept all year. Paying an accountant to do a bookkeeper’s job can get expensive very fast, as they will charge much more for their time.

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