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Posted by Dennis Jao

What Makes a Good Tax Preparer?

What Makes a Good Tax Preparer?

Not all small business owners want (or need!) to know how to find a good tax preparer. And if you feel like this isn't the right path for you, that's okay.

But if you decide that when it is tax season, you need extra support (and let's be honest, who doesn't?), it's important to know what qualities to look for in an accountant, what makes a good tax preparer, and where and how to find one that is good for your business.

Let's dive into it.

Key features to look for in a good tax preparer.

Before hiring a professional to do your business taxes, knowing what makes the ideal professional is important.

There are some important characteristics to look for in a good accountant, including:

Specialize in all things taxes

Just because someone has the title "accountant" or "tax professional" doesn't mean they're the right person to handle business taxes.

As mentioned, corporate taxes are extremely complex and constantly changing. When hiring an accountant or a tax preparer, you want to ensure they specialize in tax and understand any recent or upcoming changes in the business tax landscape.

Shows interest in understanding you and your business

The last thing you want is a tax preparer who takes a one-size-fits-all approach to work with clients. Every business (including yours!) is different and presents challenges at tax time.

The ideal tax professional will show a genuine interest in understanding you and your business. They'll ask you questions, analyze your finances, and offer solutions to help you get the most out of your business taxes.

The more they understand you and your business, the better they can do their job, and the easier the process will be for both of you.

Has experience working with other small businesses

Not all corporate taxes are created equal; filing a tax return for a large business is completely different from filing a tax return for a small business.

Small business tax accountants will bring a greater understanding and experience that can make your taxes an easier and less stressful experience.

They are perfectly organized with great attention to detail

Corporate taxes are a big deal with many moving parts. There's information to gather, forms to fill out, and deadlines to meet. There's a lot to keep track of, which is why it's so important to hire a tax preparer who is incredibly organized and pays special attention to detail.

As mentioned, tax errors can cost your business dearly. So, when you hire an accountant, you need to be sure they can handle the whole process from start to finish. And above all, they manage the process without making mistakes.

A good accountant will have a secure organizational system for managing clients at tax time, including combing through each form to ensure there are no uncrossed T's or undotted I's.

Have high-level communication skills

Of course, you should hire a tax preparer who knows the numbers. But a little less obvious is that you need to hire a tax preparer with excellent communication skills.

Preparing tax returns can be complex, time-consuming, and sometimes stressful. And this process will be much more stressful if you work with an accountant who does not communicate with you.

A good tax preparer should encourage open communication, keep you up-to-date on what's going on with your taxes, and be available to answer any inquiries you have about the process.

Are a personality match

You will work closely with your accountant during tax season and possibly throughout the year. So why not work with someone you can get along with?

Finding an accountant you get along with can make your tax process a much more pleasant experience.

You don't have to be best friends or anything, but if you can find an accountant whose personality matches yours, that's a plus.

Can represent you at an audit

You wouldn't be audited in a perfect world, especially after hiring a tax preparer to handle your taxes. However, we do not live in a perfect world, so when you hire an attorney, you want to ensure they have the credentials to represent you in an audit.

Three types of tax professionals can represent you in an audit: a Certified Public Accountant (CPA), an Enrolled Agent (EA), or an attorney. If you hire a professional without these credentials, you risk dealing with the IRS yourself.


Not every small business wants or needs to hire a tax preparer to handle its taxes. But if you need extra help come tax time, you know what makes a good tax preparer for you and your business.



Dennis Jao
Contact Member