Tips To Finding A Good Tax Adviser

Cartoon Man At Crossway With Three Arrows Pointing In Different Directions for Huddleston Tax CPAs Blog About Finding A Good Tax Advisor

 

No matter what your tax situation, tax season can be a huge headache. The more complex your financial situation is, the more difficult filing your taxes can be. This can be doubly true if you’re a business owner; trying to handle all of the credits, deductions, and various incomes for a business can be absolutely overwhelming. One of the ways you can take charge of your tax situation is to hire a tax adviser. However, there are many tax advisers out there and many of them aren’t exactly reputable. This article will offer a few tips for finding a good tax adviser for yourself or your business.

 

What Will A Good Tax Adviser Do For Me?

 Before we get too deep into offering advice, we should define what exactly it is that a tax adviser does. A tax adviser – a good tax adviser, anyway – is someone highly educated in local and federal tax laws, preferably a credentialed CPA, who will file your taxes for you and minimize your risk of audit. While there are many people, in a variety of professions, who can bring a lot of tax knowledge to the table, you should look for someone with one or more certifications. The first thing you should look for is a Preparer Tax Identification Number, or PTIN. Anyone who prepares tax returns professionally is required by the IRS to have a PTIN, so this the most basic requirement when looking for a tax adviser. You’ll want someone who has more than just this, however; find a professional who is credentialed in some way. While a CPA is the best option, an enrolled agent or licensed attorney can also be good options. 

 

Do I Need One?

 Whether you need a tax advisor or not largely depends on how complex your taxes are. If you are simply filling out a 1040EZ form, chances are you can handle it on your own pretty easily. However, if it gets much more complicated than that, you will probably benefit from making use of a tax adviser. If you’re in business for yourself, it gets more and more critical that you make use of a professional to file your taxes. Whether you own a business, are self-employed, or own property that you rent out to paying customers, your tax situation can veer towards the confusing and having your taxes filed professionally can decrease your audit risk significantly.

 

How Much Will It Cost?

 There are a lot of untrustworthy people out there claiming to be tax advisers, while in fact they’re scam artists trying to swindle you out of your money and perhaps even make off with your tax refund. You’ll have to be cautious when looking for a tax adviser; one of the things that you should keep an eye on when looking for someone to prepare your taxes is the fee. A professional CPA will usually charge an hourly rate; if a so-called “tax adviser” wants to charge you a flat rate, or take a cut of your refund, then there’s a good chance it’s a scam.

 

How Do I Find The Best Tax Adviser Out There For My Money?

 Even after you filter through all of the tax advisers that are obviously scams, you’ll still be left with a lot of people claiming that they’ll do the best job handling your taxes. Choosing the best one involves a little research, and a willingness to vet anyone you’re considering. First, look for someone who specializes in your specific needs; for example, if you’re a business owner, you’ll want to find someone who is an expert in business tax. When you find someone who has the proper credentials, make sure you read reviews online and check their references. Finding out if your prospective tax adviser has a lot of other satisfied customers will go a long way toward your own peace of mind. Make sure whoever you choose is well versed in all of the IRS laws when it comes to filing; for example, they have to provide their PTIN number when they file your taxes. They should also e-file when they submit your return; not only should this be expected of any reputable tax prep company working in the modern day, it’s also IRS law for any preparer that files more than 10 returns and receives compensation for their work.

 

 

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