Most people find the time and mental fortitude to file their taxes. They push it off for as long as possible until Tax Day forces some action. For the most part, you should file your taxes yourself, hopefully with finesse and on time.
But then, hiring a tax accountant has its perks, too. Here are three of those perks. After reading these, you’ll probably rethink your position on hiring help for your taxes.
1) Expert advice
Tax accounts know tax laws in and out, including what to avoid and what to capitalize on. Hiring a CPA will expose you to all of that and help you claim benefits like childcare or educational expenses. The professional can also tell you the difference between smart tax deductions and illegal tax evasion. Sometimes, the dividing line gets blurry.
2) Less work for you
It’s simply less stressful to hire a tax accountant for your tax filing. Running a business can be stressful without having to add forms and deadlines to the mix. Plus, most business owners aren’t very familiar with tax requirements. They need long hours, lots of coffee, and multiple browser tabs to get it right. Accountants, on the other hand, do this for a living. For a small fee, you can have all your taxes done correctly and on time.
3) Strategic planning
The service accountants provide doesn’t stop at filing tax returns. Your taxes paint a picture of your business’ current financial situation, and accountants see that picture. They are in a perfect position to tell you what you’re doing wrong and what you could get right. They can also show you how to position your business for upcoming tax law changes. You wouldn’t get any of that if you filed your taxes personally.
How do you hire a tax accountant?
While all tax accountants are familiar with basic concepts like the four types of bookkeeping systems, they aren’t all equally qualified. For the best representation, you need a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). CPAs have met licensing requirements in their state and have become experts in the field.
Now that you know who to look for, here are some of the steps to take.
Check online sources.
The CPA society is an excellent place to start your search. You can visit their website and pull a list of all the accountants in your area. If you want to be more thorough, you can cross-reference the list. You can also check social media for referrals and recommendations of professionals. Be careful because most things aren’t what they seem online.
Look for experience.
More than anything else, you need a professional who has handled a business like yours in the past. Crunching numbers is only a small part of the job duty. Tax accountants also need a concise understanding of financial concepts and the tax code. While this understanding is gained in education, experience assures you that you’re in good hands.
Determine what extra services the CPA offers.
One of the benefits of hiring a CPA is her unique perspective of your business’ financial situation. You should determine what add-on services the professional brings. For example, they should answer your questions about the information they receive and how it affects you.