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The Criteria to Hire a Professional Tax Specialist

August 27, 2019
Small Business

The year-round business taxation often ends up making corporate executives’ heads spin. However, this extraneous burden becomes unbearable for small businesses that want cost-effective operational activities with a higher return on investment.

A tax specialist holds qualified financial expertise with training in numerous laws concerning taxes. These specialists are regulated by the IRS authorities. You should, however, tread carefully as to what type of tax expert would be more suited for your business activities.

Whether you’re unable to save tax money or solely want assistance to get audited, it’s never too late to hire the services of a tax professional. For this article, you will learn the necessity to hire a tax specialist and what standards you should hold before hiring one.

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The Need of a Tax Specialist

The thought of preparing your own taxes can be overwhelming. It is vital for a small business that doesn’t want to get caught in a financial cobweb and muddled in a tax situation.

Moreover, handling and filing tax returns have become more complicated with constant changes in the tax code by the IRS authorities. Similarly, small businesses suffer the most to keep track of every tax change and review filing status.

Contrary to misconception, the nature of taxes is remotely not black and white. The complexity of your taxes, on the other hand, strictly depends on your financial situation. For small businesses, tax season always feels like it’s around the corner.

Today, time has become a valuable entity of its own for businesses. Keeping that in mind, a tax specialist can help you save your precious time and money that you can put to good use to run other business operations.

Who Should be Your Tax Preparer?

As a taxpayer or business owner, you can acquire the services of various types of a tax professional who can make your case known in front of the IRS. That said; ensure that your quest to search for a tax professional meets all the requirements set forth by the IRS.

Tax Attorney

A tax attorney can prepare your personal tax returns, but it would be wise to hire the services of such individual to handle complicated business matters or handle tax disputes that require special attention.

That said, you should look for an attorney that specializes in business taxes instead of personal taxes. This small criterion will make all the difference because general attorneys are usually not knowledgeable about business taxes to offer you proper advice.

Certified Public Accountant (CPA)

It is common to confuse an accountant with a CPA. However, the responsibilities and flexibility of both tax specialists can vary significantly. CPAs pass an extensive state exam and have to meet the specific experience required to practice as a tax specialist.

Conversely, a CPA may not have expertise on tax matters. Therefore, look for a CPA who is licensed in your state and handles business taxes. The biggest perk of going with a CPA would be to gain additional financial assistance regarding planning or strategizing your tax issues.

Enrolled Agent

An enrolled agent is licensed directly by the IRS after working for at least five years. It is important to understand that an enrolled agent may have a tax specialty in a specific area. For the sake of cost-effectiveness, an enrolled agent is a great choice, but he or she cannot represent you in a court of law.

Best Way to Find a Tax Professional

Check Referrals

You can ask your friends and family members for a tax advisor or start your own search from referral discounts.

Seek Local Listings

You can find tax specialists in your local neighborhood through Yelp, Google, or Facebook. Select a candidate after checking his or her rating and reviews to finalize the decision process.

Set Criteria Before Hiring a Tax Professional

Conduct a Background Check

You should start by inquiring about the past experience of a hired CPA or tax attorney. Seek third party resources and look for any disciplinary actions or licensing issues that your tax specialists may have been a part of in the past couple of years. Similarly, make sure that your enrolled agent is registered with the IRS authorities.

Verify Credentials and Documents

As per IRS instructions, businesses are required to check the Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) of the tax specialists. It is a dedicated number given by the government to tax professionals. Check mark the important features such as educational background, tax return experience, organizational experience, and sense of the reliability of a tax preparer.

Measure Compatibility

The trick to hiring a great tax specialist is to look beyond educational and working experience. You need someone who can understand your business needs and make necessary tax adjustments in tumultuous times.

Flexibility matters, but so does compatibility. That means hiring a tax specialist who can align your business style without being aggressive and should possess sufficient knowledge to make sizable tax deductions. You can, for instance, prepare theoretical questions during an interview to analyze the given advice on your tax situation.

You need to establish business tax parameters beforehand as CPAs spend most of their time doing taxes for home businesses and individuals. Also, you can always ask for additional services CPAs can provide to your business. And be open regarding quotes to figure out the total cost structure.

Time Factor

From digging records to checking for write-offs, the whole process can take a substantial amount of time. You need to ask your tax preparer how much time he or she would need to complete such task efficiently.  

Higher ROI

You shouldn't look for specific ROI guarantees from your tax specialist. However, find out what strategies he or she intends to apply to file your tax returns and claim more tax deductions.

Up-to-Date Tax Specialist

The human touch matters. You need someone who can keep you updated through the tax year regarding IRS changes and your future tax strategies.

Foreign Income

A foreign income is considered an asset that you can receive through stock investment or rental income. Hence, ask your tax preparer if he can handle foreign income tax issues that your business may be receiving from multiple ends.

Quick Filing Process

Filing on your own can be a burden. Hire a tax expert that can lift off that burden and make the future filing process even easier for your business. That means your tax specialist should be able to resolve various tax constraints beforehand.

Look for Perfection

The sole purpose of hiring a tax specialist is to not make tax errors during or after filing your tax returns. Apart from trustworthiness, a great tax specialist would be able to handle multiple sources of your income, dividends, or interest easily.

Conclusion

Although you can prepare tax returns on your own, it is the expertise that counts at the end of the day. Besides, small businesses often have to grapple with the reality of audit; it is only wise that you consider hiring a tax professional that can help you avoid falling into the void of tax issues. Halon Private Client offers the best, most efficient, cost effective, and experienced service to all clients. Always feel free to chat and find out if Halon Private Client would be best for your business.

Tatiana Bashlova

Tatiana is the Junior Vice President at Halon. She has experience in operations, payroll, legal, human resources, and finance in various industries. In her spare time she enjoys reading about new laws, hiking, and fishing. .

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