Posted by Karen Munoz, EA

What To Look For in a Tax Professional & How to Find a Good One

What To Look For in a Tax Professional & How to Find a Good One

Not all small business owners want (or need!) to know how to find a tax professional. And if you feel like it's not good for you, that's fine.

But if you decide that when tax season rolls around, you need a little more support (and let's face it -who doesn't?), It's important to know what features you need to look for in a tax professional/accountant, as well as where and how to find the right path for your business

The main characteristics to look for in a good Tax Professional/Accountant

Before hiring a business tax professional, it's important to know what the ideal professional looks like.

There are some vital characteristics to look for in a good professional, and they include the following:

Specialize in all things tax

Just because someone has the title of "accountant" or "tax consultant" does not mean that they are the right person to do your corporate tax.

Business tax is extremely complex and constantly changing. When you hire an accountant or enlist the services of a tax professional, you need to make sure they are a tax expert and that they understand any recent or future changes in the corporate tax landscape.

Shows interest in understanding your company and how it works

The last thing you want is a tax professional who has a unique approach to working with your clients. Every business is different and, as such, poses a different set of tax challenges.

A good tax professional will show a genuine interest in understanding your business and how it works. They'll ask you questions, analyze your finances, and find solutions that will help you get the most out of business taxation.

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

Have Working Experience with Other Small Businesses

All business taxes are not the same; the tax declaration for a large business is completely different from the tax declaration for a small business.

Small business accountants will bring a higher level of understanding and experience to the table, making paying taxes a simpler and less stressful experience.

A good tax professional is perfectly organized with great attention to detail.

Business taxes are a handful and as such a big job, with a lot of moving parts. There is information to collect, forms to fill out, and deadlines to meet; there is a lot to follow, which is why it is so important to hire an incredibly organized professional and pays close attention to details.

Tax errors can cost your business dearly. Therefore, when you hire an accountant, you need to ensure that they can handle the whole process from start to finish, as well as manage the process without making any mistakes.

A good tax professional will have a flawless organizational system to deal with clients at tax time, including reviewing each form with a fine-tooth comb to ensure no errors.

Watch out for their High-Level Communication Skills

You need to hire a tax professional who is great with numbers. But what's a little less obvious is that you need to hire a tax professional with excellent communication skills.

Paying taxes can be a complex, lengthy, and sometimes stressful process. And this process will be much more stressful if you work with an expert who does not communicate with you.

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

Will represent you in an audit.

You wouldn't get audited in a perfect world, especially after hiring an expert to handle your taxes. But, unfortunately, we don't live in a perfect world, so when you hire a tax expert, you need to make sure they have the necessary credentials to represent you in an audit.

Three types of tax specialists can represent you in connection with an audit: a chartered accountant (CPA), an enrolled agent (EA), or a lawyer. If you hire a professional without any of these credentials, you run the risk of having to go through the IRS alone.

Choose the right Tax Professional for you.

How do you choose the right tax professional for your business?

If you can't decide which tax professional is right for you, here are a few more factors to consider:

  • Availability: Some tax professionals are completely overwhelmed during tax season and may not give your taxes the time and attention they deserve. Before hiring a tax professional, be sure to ask about their availability, how quickly they communicate (you don't want your emails going unanswered for days!), And how much time they have for things like reviewing documents or the response—tax issues.

  • Experience with your Sector: While a tax professional doesn't need to be an expert in your field, it certainly doesn't hurt to have an idea of how your sector works! If it is difficult for you to find a potential tax expert, experience in your industry should put the tax expert at the top of the list.

  • Prices: Cost shouldn't be the only factor to consider when choosing the perfect tax professional for your business, but it certainly plays an important role. While you don't want to save money on corporate tax payments, you don't want to go into debt. When you hire an expert, make sure their fees are within your budget.

Bottom Line

Find out the characteristics you want in a tax professional and use them to find the right one for your business.

Not all small businesses want or need to hire a tax expert to manage their taxes. But if you need a little more tax support, now you have the tools you need to find, audit, and hire the best tax expert for you and your business.



Karen Munoz, EA
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