Certified public accountant
A certified public accountant, or CPA, has passed a state's qualifying accounting exam, but may not be an expert on tax matters.
A CPA can help you create an overall tax plan and guide you through complex financial situations. A CPA may be your best choice if you've recently been divorced, retired, opened or closed a business or had any other lifestyle changes that significantly affected your finances.
If, however, you are primarily interested in tax preparation help, ask the CPA about his or her tax-filing experience.
Like an enrolled agent, a CPA can represent you before the IRS. The American Institute of Certified Public Accountants' website offers guidance on finding a CPA.