Handling taxes is not everyone’s cup of tea. This is because they are never straightforward. Since errors when handling the same can have dire consequences, it is important to approach the same cautiously. To be on the safe side, it is important to seek the services of a tax advisor. Understand that few of the many available experts can offer top-drawer services. This makes it important to research conclusively before contacting any provider. Highlighted below are a few of the important things to consider when choosing a tax advisor.
Ask about training and experience. Whatever you do, do not choose a provider simply because they claim to be ‘good with numbers’. You need a provider with the right type of training. Most importantly, they should be experienced. If possible, focus on Certified Public Accountants (CPAs). Such providers usually have specialized knowledge as far as handling taxes is concerned. It pays to choose a provider that has been serving businesses similar to yours. Asking for proof of experience would help you narrow down your search to the most suitable service providers. It pays to ask to speak to some of their past clients.
Does the provider offer any other services? Tax advisors can offer other services such as accounting advisory, bookkeeping services, audit and assurance, management advisory services, among other services. If your provider can offer all accounting related services your firm needs, it saves you the pain of having to find another service provider. It also saves you the inconvenience that come with working with many different firms. Make sure that the provider would handle all tasks personally. This is because some providers are likely to outsource. If they would delegate, they should only assign the work to the most suitable inhouse employee.
Reputation is immensely significant. Working with such a provider means that you will be entrusting them with sensitive information about your firm. If they would be handling your books, you have to ensure that they would not doctor them for their own benefit. Understand that the IRS might want to audit your company. In such a case, your tax advisor should be available to represent you. If there are issues with your tax returns, the provider must be available, particularly for in-office and field tax audits. Check the type of reviews the providers have from past clients. They should also be in good standing with renowned associations such as the BBB.
Ensure that their services are affordable. While most service providers would be willing to discuss service fees, do not assume that any firm out there would work with your budget. To be on the safe side, ask for a written contract that highlights service fees. If you are choosing a provider online, you should not assume that the fees listed on their website are accurate. In case they would be offering a myriad of services, get to know whether they charge extra for them. You should also know whether you would be paying extra for IRS representation in case it becomes necessary.