Choosing the right tax professional for your business should be more than just about the fees you’ll be charged.
You may think, “I’ve been doing fine handling personal tax, why hire another person to take care of my business tax anyways?”
Well, business taxes are more complex than your personal tax. Hiring a tax professional ensures you are abreast of things going on in the tax world and you do not miss out on credits or deductions you might be eligible for. You cannot afford to make mistakes on your business tax because it can attract fines, penalties, and an audit from the IRS.
Without a doubt, there are more than enough reasons to hire a professional to handle your business tax. But how do you get the perfect one for your business? There are a couple of personae you need to see before you hire a tax professional.
Your tax professional should possess the traits common to good employees. General traits such as trust, excellent communication skills, attention to detail, creativity, organization, efficiency, time management, teachable, adaptability, and hardworking.
Yes, anyone can have these traits but I know you desire much more. The more specific traits you should keenly pay attention to are:
· The area of specialization is tax: There are many professionals out there but you are looking for a professional who specializes in all things tax. This must be a person that is still in the tax game. The tax world is constantly evolving and you need someone who has his hand on the pulse of the tax world.
· Experienced: Practicing tax is good, having wealth of experience is better. Not all business taxes are created equal and each portfolio requires a different approach. An experienced tax professional would have gained enough knowledge that would not only make his work seamless but also make your rest assured your tax is in capable hands. An Experienced tax preparer has more expertise to bring to the table. Years of experience also come with a higher level of understanding of tax filing.
· Show genuine interest in your business’ tax: Your business as an entity is unique and it should be treated as such. To get a tax professional that would be great at your tax filing, you must ensure it is someone genuinely interested in your business. A tax professional that asks questions about the business they represent tends to be better at performing their duty.
· Can represent your business: Your tax professional is your face whenever you have a tax issue. I know the whole essence of you getting a professional is just so that there wouldn’t be an issue. Well, it is good to hope for the best but prepared for the worst. Should there be a time when you need to show before the IRS or you get audited, your tax professional must be able to represent you.
· Certifications: This might seem too obvious but some of the ‘so-called tax professionals’ are not fully certified. They may have some certification but sometimes “some” is not enough. You have to ensure the tax professional you are hiring is either an enrolled agent or a certified public accountant with all the certificates he/she needs to render his/her service fully.
Also, while searching for a good accountant, you probably have a list of boxes you wanted checked to ensure you get the best. These traits must have taken care of some of those boxes already. I will take you to some of the ways you can find a tax professional.
· Professional bodies: The first place where you can get a good accountant is from the professional bodies. These bodies have a great wealth of good accountants. A plus is that they screen and examine their members (thereby saving you the stress of having to screen them yourself). Being a member of a professional body also automatically means the accountants have met the organization’s requirements and certifications. Such bodies include the National Association of Enrolled Agents, the National Association of Tax Professionals, the Institute of Certified Public Accountants, and the local chamber of commerce.
· Referral: Another way to find a good accountant is to ask people you know. This allows you to only interact with accountants that have a good history. You just have to ensure you are asking from credible sources.
· Go online: The internet is also a great place to search for good accountants. Out of the multitude of accounts online, you can fish out the good ones through their reviews and their track records. You can also contact their current or former client for a background check.
A good accountant from any of these places must possess diverse knowledge, stay on top of industry changes, has serious experience, work within your business sector, and use the latest technology to serve you.
There you go!
You now have the tools you need to find the professional you need for your business tax.