Tax Tip of the Week: Hire a Professional, the Right Professional

tax_return_paulkeleherflickr

When it comes to taxes, the best thing you can do for your self and your business is to hire a professional who has experience in your particular set of circumstances. Yes, you can probably do your tax return yourself, but just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

Tax code is vastly complex and ever changing. You need someone on your side who not only knows how to file the right forms, but thinks strategically and considers your business and personal situation as a whole.

Ask Around for the Best Tax Advice

Most tax professionals will be able to do a good job with a variety of small business tax issues, but if you have particular needs you’ll want someone who has experience in that area. A real estate investor has different issues than an online marketer. If you are funding your own retirement you have specific needs. If you’re a member of a partnership you’ll have different needs than a sole proprieter. Should you incorporate? A tax advisor should be able to help you with anything that has tax ramifications.

A word of caution: Be extremely careful about the advice you receive that is ‘too good to be true’. It’s not true.

The best way to find a competent tax advisor is to ask around among people who are in the same business as you are. You’ll hear a few horror stories and, if you’re lucky, get the name of a good CPA.

It’s Not Just About the Tax Return

This is a busy time of year for tax preparers. You’re not going to get their wisest counsel when they have a full inventory of returns to file. Try to meet with your tax advisor throughout the year to work out strategies that will pay off in the coming tax season. Taxes have a huge impact on your bottom line. Hire someone who knows what they’re doing.

Image Credit: Paul Keleher, Flickr

  • I am sick and tired of writers making the assumption that only CPAs do taxes – “if you’re lucky, get the name of a good CPA”!

    Just because a person has the initials CPA after his/her name does not mean that he/she is a tax expert! The only initials that have any meaning are “EA” – Enrolled Agent. An EA is not an agent of the IRS, but an independent tax preparer.

    And there are many competent tax professionals out there with absolutely no initials after their name.

    When you are tempted to erroneously say “CPA” in such an article use instead the phrase “tax professional”!

    RDF (aka The Wandering Tax Pro)