Many small business owners need solid tax advice yearly. Tax laws, allowances and rates change all the time. You have enough to worry about between running your company, managing employees and keeping your customers happy—how do you find an accountant you can trust? With this in mind, here is a list of what you should look for when finding the right tax accountant for your small business.
Tip 1: Find a Tax Accountant with Experience
All Certified Public Accountants (CPAs) are credentialed, but accountants with several years of experience are more likely to have a deeper understanding of the tax code. For example, Better Accounting CPAs have an average of 15 years of experience.
When your accountant has the knowledge that comes with the experience, they are more likely to get you a bigger return and in a quicker timeframe. They will also offer electronic filing as an option.
Tip 2: Check their specialization
Not all CPAs are the same. An accountant can specialize in a range of accounting areas. These areas can include business, government, tax preparation and forensic accounting. The CPAs at Better Accounting all specialize in preparing tax returns for small businesses.
With the focus being on small businesses, our tax accountants aren’t just trying to get you the largest return for the current year, but also setting up your taxes for years to come so that you will get the best possible return every year.
Tip 3: Verify their ID Number and License
The IRS requires all CPAs who prepare taxes to have a Preparer Tax Identification Number (PTIN) with the IRS. You can check on a PTIN by searching the IRS Return Preparer Office Directory.
A CPA must also be registered with the state. Much like their PTIN, you can check their license by checking with the state’s Board of Accountancy. Many states offer a CPA database, which will show an accountant’s license status, expiration dates, as well as any disciplinary actions and suspensions.
Tip 4: Determine the Cost
A tax accountant can charge in different ways: by the hour, flat fee, or other options based on how complex the taxes are for a company. Make sure to find out if their fees include filing both federal and state returns. Also, accountants are usually allowed to base their rate off of the percentage of your tax return, so it’s to your benefit to check.
Tip 5: Let a Professional Company help you
A friend of a friend knows a guy who can do your taxes for cheap. This sounds like a start of a bad joke, but this is the way that many small business owners chose who has access to their businesses’ financial records and tax information. A company like Better Accounting does strict background checks on our CPAs and maintains constant communication with our clients. We make sure that we employ people whom we would be comfortable doing our own company’s taxes.
Our CPAs will not only prepare and file your tax returns for the current year, but they can also offer year-round tax planning consulting so that we can help you maximize your return every year and get you the biggest tax credits and incentives.
All CPAs know and understand the tax code but finding one who truly cares about you and your company is the difficult part. Once you find that accountant, they can help you for many years to come. In addition to preparing your tax returns each year, they can also represent you before the IRS if you ever have to deal with an audit or collection.