Tax Preparer Insurance Policy Information
Tax Preparer Insurance. A tax preparer is a person who prepares tax returns for small businesses and other individuals. They are used to make the job of filing taxes a lot easier for people who don't know how or don't have the time to do it. With the United States federal tax code growing at the rate it has been over the last couple of year this job of preparing tax returns has become more tedious.
Tax consultants are usually accounting operations that specialize in the review, audit, and preparation of tax statements and returns for their clients. The consultant may offer advice to clients to assist them in legally lowering their tax liability, such as researching allowable deductions. Services are provided to either the general public, a specific firm, or group of client firms. The tax consulting firm may or may not carry the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) certification. The need for the CPA certification depends on the type of work the accountant will be providing and the purpose or type of financial statements to be prepared for the client.
If a CPA certification is required, the accountant must have knowledge and experience in working with generally accepted accounting principles (GAAP) or statutory accounting principles (SAP), depending on the client. Due to the varied areas of knowledge or expertise needed by a tax consultant, the background, education, certification, experience, and professionalism are items to consider.
An accountant has to ensure that they get the taxes filed on time and help businesses to avoid being audited by the IRS. There are also lots of risks involved with the preparation of tasks and one simple slip up, and a tax preparer can find themselves in deep problems like being sued. Thats is why the smartest move a tax preparer can make is to ensure they are properly protected with an-adequate tax preparer insurance insurance policy.
Tax preparer insurance protects your practice from lawsuits with rates as low as $27/mo. Get a fast quote and your certificate of insurance now.
How Much Does Tax Preparer Insurance Cost?
The average price of a standard $1,000,000/$2,000,000 General Liability Insurance policy for small tax preparation businesses ranges from $27 to $39 per month based on location, size, payroll, sales and experience.
Understanding The Basics Of Tax Preparer Insurance
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The Risks Involved With Tax Preparation
A person who is a tax preparer often works for themselves or a small firm. Whether with a small company or working for themselves there are many risks involved. To ensure that risk of running this type of business is minimal one must be adequately insured. Being covered with tax preparer insurance is the best thing that one can do for themselves and their business.
What Types Of Tax Preparation Insurance Are Available?
When deciding on the kind of insurance you should get for your business, it's always a good idea to spend some time talking with an insurance professional. Doing this allows you to find the right coverage for you. If you're a small business and need comprehensive and affordable coverage, then a Business Owner's Policy might be the right thing for you. There are three types of coverage you get with this type of insurance:
- Property Coverage - if anything happens to the equipment or the building you're working in this kind of insurance will keep you covered.
- Liability Coverage - this coverage includes any injury to a third party due to anything you've done.
- Business interruption coverage - if a person has to close down their business because of a natural disaster or business damage this type of coverage helps to compensate for lost of income.
There are also other types of coverages that will contribute to protecting your office equipment like computers and such. Ensure that when you speak with an insurance professional that you ask them about this.
How To Ensure Your Office Equipment Is Covered If You Work From Home
As a tax preparer and small business owner, you may be working from your home. Now because of this fact you have to ensure that you are adequately covered when you are doing so. You may have a homeowners insurance policy, but you have to know the limits of that policy. A standard homeowner insurance policy will cover only up to certain limits with a typical $500-$1000 deductible.
Luckily there are a few strategies to ensure that you have the right coverage while you run your business from home:
- In-home business and office insurance. If you run your business from your home, then some insurance companies offer a unique insurance policy that will help you to stay covered. The basic in-home business policy provides up to $10,000 of business coverage. It also provides a liability coverage limit between $300,000 and $1 million.
- Business owners policy: This type of policy as said before is the type of insurance that fits perfectly with people that are running their business from home.
When it comes to keeping your small business protected as a small home business owner, one must ensure that they have the best insurance policy to keep them protected. Think about your business and what you want to achieve and when you've done that speak to an insurance agent and work to find the tax preparer insurance policy that it right for you.
Tax Consultant's Risks & Exposures
Premises liability exposure is often minimal since most client contact is done electronically or by mail. If clients visit the premises during the busy tax season, they must be confined to designated areas so that they cannot view or overhear conversations regarding other clients' confidential information.
To prevent slips, trips, or falls, all customer areas must be well lighted and free from obstacles. Floor covering must be in good condition. The number of exits must be sufficient, and be well marked, with backup lighting in case of power failure. Parking lots and sidewalks need to be in good repair with snow and ice removed, and generally level and free of exposure to slips and falls. If employees work off site, there must be a procedure manual to describe expectations in dealing with clients.
Professional liability exposure can be extensive due to the potential for fines should taxes be prepared incorrectly. Working with individual clients presents fewer professional exposures than working with corporate tax clients. The exposure increases if the firm fails to conduct thorough background checks to verify employees' credentials and education, if training is not conducted to keep up with tax code changes, if clerical workers are allowed to do tasks that only professionals should handle, or if error checking procedures are ignored or are inadequate.
Clients should be informed of credentials of workers prior to consulting. Very serious losses may result from failure to document decisions and actions or to secure client approval.
Workers compensation exposure is generally limited to that of an office. Since work is done on computers, potential injuries include eyestrain, neck strain, carpal tunnel syndrome, and similar cumulative trauma injuries that can be addressed through ergonomically designed workstations. There is also a high stress factor during tax season as employees must work under deadlines.
Companies should be responsive to employees' needs and encourage vacation time and lunch breaks. Some tax consultants have significant off-site work. Workers can be injured by slips and falls at clients' premises or in automobile accidents.
Property exposure is generally limited to that of an office, although there may be some incidental storage or an area for meetings. Ignition sources include electrical wiring, heating and air conditioning systems wear, and overheating of equipment. Computers and other electronic equipment may be targets for theft.
Crime exposure comes from employee dishonesty, which can be quite serious as tax consultants and their staff possess unique access to customers' personal financial information such as bank records. Potential for theft, directly or by means of identity theft, is great. Hazards increase without proper background checks, along with monitoring procedures and securing of all records to prevent unauthorized access.
All job duties, such as ordering, billing and disbursing should be separate and reconciled on a regular basis. Receipts should be issued for any cash payments received. Bank deposits should be made on a timely basis to limit the buildup of cash on premises. Audits should be performed at least annually.
Inland marine exposure is for accounts receivable if the consultant offers credit, computers, and valuable papers and records for customers' information, which may be originals that are difficult to recreate. Power failure and power surges are potentially severe hazards. A morale hazard may be indicated if the insured does not keep valuable papers and disks in fireproof file cabinets to protect them from smoke, water and fire. Duplicates should be kept off site to allow for re-creation in the event of a loss.
Business auto exposure is usually limited to hired and non-owned (HNOA). If vehicles are provided to employees, there should be written procedures regarding personal use by employees and their family members. All drivers must have appropriate licenses and acceptable MVRs. Vehicles must be maintained and records kept in a central location.
Commercial Insurance And Business Industry Classification
- SIC CODE: 7291 Tax Return Preparation Services, 8721 Accounting, Auditing, and Bookkeeping Services
- NAICS CODE: 541213 Tax Preparation Services
- Suggested ISO General Liability Code(s): 61224, 61225, 61226, 61227
- Suggested Workers Compensation Code(s): 8810, 8803
Types Of Small Business Insurance - Requirements & Regulations
Perhaps you have the next great idea for a product or service that you know will appeal to your local area. If you've got a business, you've got risks. Unexpected events and lawsuits can wipe out a business quickly, wasting all the time and money you've invested.
Operating a business is challenging enough without having to worry about suffering a significant financial loss due to unforeseen and unplanned circumstances. Small business insurance can protect your company from some of the more common losses experienced by business owners, such as property damage, business interruption, theft, liability, and employee injury.
Purchasing the appropriate commercial insurance coverage can make the difference between going out of business after a loss or recovering with minimal business interruption and financial impairment to your company's operations.
Insurance is so important to proper business function that both federal governments and state governments require companies to carry certain types. Thus, being properly insured also helps you protect your company by protecting it from government fines and penalties.
Small Business Insurance Information
In the business world, there are many risks faced by company's every day. The best way that business owners can protect themselves from these perils is by carrying the right insurance coverage.
The The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is the U.S. standard-setting and regulatory support organization. Through the NAIC, state insurance regulators establish standards and best practices, conduct peer review, and coordinate their regulatory oversight.
Commercial insurance is particularly important for small business owners, as they stand to lose a lot more. Should a situation arise - a lawsuit, property damage, theft, etc. - small business owners could end up facing serious financial turmoil.
According to the SBA, having the right insurance plan in place can help you avoid major pitfalls. Your business insurance should offer coverage for all of your assets. It should also include liability and casual coverage.
Types Of Small Business Insurance
Choosing the right type of coverage is absolutely vital. You've got plenty of options. Some you'll need. Some you won't. You should know what's available. Once you look over your options you'll need to conduct a thorough risk assessment. As you evaluate each type of insurance, ask yourself:
- What type of business am I running?
- What are common risks associated with this industry?
- Does this type of insurance cover a situation that could feasibly arise during the normal course of doing business?
- Does my state require me to carry this type of insurance?
- Does my lender or do any of my investors require me to carry this type of policy?
A licensed insurance agent or broker in your state can help you determine what kinds of coverages are prudent for your business types. If you find one licensed to sell multiple policies from multiple companies (independent agents) that person can often help you get the best insurance rates, too. Following is some information on some of the most common small business insurance policies:
|Business Insurance Policy Type||What Is Covered?|
|General Liability Insurance||What is covered under commercial general liability insurance? It steps in to pay claims when you lose a lawsuit with an injured customer, employee, or vendor. The injury could be physical, or it could be a financial loss based on advertising practices.|
|Product Liability Insurance||What is covered under product liability insurance? I pays an injured party's settlement or lawsuit claim arising from a defective product. These are usually caused by design defects, manufacturing defects, or a failure to provide adequate warning or instructions as to how to safely use the product.|
|Commercial Property Insurance||What is covered under business property insurance? General liability policies don't cover damages to your business property. That's what commercial property insurance is for. It protects all of the physical parts of your business: your building, your inventory, and your equipment, giving you the funds you need to replace them in the event of a disaster. If you work from home, you might consider a Home Based Business Insurance policy instead.|
|Business Owners Policy (BOP)||What is covered under a business owners policy (BOP)? This is a policy designed for small, low-risk businesses. It simplifies the basic insurance purchase process by combining general liability policies with business income and commercial property insurance.|
|Commercial Auto Insurance||What is covered under business auto insurance? This type of insurance covers automobiles being used for business purposes. This could include a fleet of business-only vehicles or a single company car. In some cases it might cover your car or your employee's car while they're being used for business. These policies have much higher limits, ensuring you can cover your costs if one of these vehicles gets into an accident.|
|Commercial Umbrella Policies||What is covered under commercial umbrella insurance? This type of policy is a sort of "gap" insurance. It covers your liability in the event that a court verdict or settlement exceeds your general liability policy limits.|
|Liquor Liability Insurance||What is covered under liquor liability insurance? It covers bodily injury or property damage caused by an intoxicated person who was served liquor by the policy holder.|
|Professional Liability (Errors & Omissions)||What is covered under professional liability insurance? This type of business insurance is also known as malpractice oe E&O. It covers the damages that can arise from major mistakes, especially in high-stakes professions where mistakes can be devastating.|
|Surety Bond||What is covered under surety bonds? Bonding is a contract where one party, the SURETY (who assures the obligee that the principal can perform the task), guarantees the performance of certain obligations of a second party, the PRINCIPAL (the contractor or business who will perform the contractual obligation), to a third party, the OBLIGEE (the project owner who is the recipient of an obligation).|
Who Needs General Liability Insurance? - Virtually every business. A single lawsuit or settlement could bankrupt your business five times over. You might also need this policy to win business. Many companies and government agencies won't do business with your company until you can produce proof that you've obtained one of these policies.
Business Insurance Required by Law
If you have any employees most states will require you to carry worker's compensation and unemployment insurance. Some states require you to insure yourself even if you are the only employee working in the business.
Your insurance agent can help you check applicable state laws so you can bring your business into compliance.
Other Types Of Small Business Insurance
There are dozens of other, more specialized forms of small business insurance capable of covering specific problems and risks. These forms of insurance include:
- Business Interruption Insurance
- Commercial Flood Insurance
- Contractor's Insurance
- Cyber Liability
- Data Breach
- Directors and Officers
- Employment Practices Liability
- Environmental or Pollution Liability
- Management Liability
- Sexual Misconduct Liability
Whether you need any or all of these policies will depend on the results of your risk assessment. For example, you probably don't need an environmental or pollution policy if you're running an IT company out of a leased office, but you would need data breach and cyber liability policies to fully protect your business.
Additional Resources For Professional Services Insurance
Get informed about small business professional services insurance, including Professional liability, aka errors and omissions (E&O insurance), that protects your business against claims that a professional service you provided caused your client financial loss.
- Answering Service
- Attorney Lawyer
- Business Consulting
- Corporate Wellness
- Court Reporter
- Debt Collection Agency
- Detective Agency
- Electrical Engineering
- Environmental Consultant
- Executive, Career & Life Coaching
- Executive Search Firm
- Expert Witness
- Financial Services
- Financial Planner
- HR Consultant
- Mediator - Arbitrator
- Medical Billing
- Music, Drama & Dance Therapy
- Office Machine Repair & Maintenance
- Project Management
- Temporary Staffing
- Tax Preparer
Let's face reality. People today are claims conscious, resulting in a significant share of malpractice lawsuits against professionals.
Liability resulting from the rendering of or the failure to render professional services is excluded in most liability coverage forms. This means that a policy covering a account's or lawyers' office will cover liability arising out of the maintenance or use of the premises, but specifically exclude liability arising out of the rendering of a professional service or the omission of such a service.
In addition to the professions in which actual physical or mental injury may be caused to clients, certain other professions are exposed to claims for malpractice.
Claims may be brought against lawyers, accountants, architects, and similar professional persons for errors or omissions in their professional capacity. Errors & Omissions insurance pays damages that might be awarded to a plaintiff alleging professional negligence.
Professional liability policies are made available to such risks, and these policies provide essentially the same protection as is afforded under the physicians, surgeons or dentists professional liability policy.
Minimum recommended small business insurance coverage: Business Personal Property, Employee Dishonesty, Accounts Receivable, Computers, Valuable Papers and Records, General Liability, Employee Benefits Liability, Professional Liability, Umbrella Liability, Hired and Non-owned Auto Liability & Workers Compensation.
Other commercial insurance policies to consider: Building, Business Income with Extra Expense, Earthquake, Equipment Breakdown, Flood, Computer Fraud, Forgery, Money and Securities, Special Floater, Cyber Liability, Employment-related Practices Liability, Business Auto Liability and Physical Damage and Stop Gap Liability.