Top Tips for Choosing the Right Tax Advisor
Tax advisor, enrolled tax agent, certified public accountant – all these terms refer to an accounting professional specializing in the arduous U.S. tax code and using their knowledge to help you decrease your taxes. Not all tax advisors are the same – some are enrolled agents, others are Certified Public Accountants (CPA) and so on. Regardless of the type of tax advisor you need, you have to spend time choosing the right candidate.
Identifying Your Needs
First of all, know what your needs are as well as your goals. For example, if you have fairly simple tax situation, you may go with any qualified tax advisor. Otherwise, go for a seasoned professional who knows just what to do.
Fact is, there has been a wave of funny, unreliable tax preparers in the last few years, so do your research first with every prospect you have. Examine their credentials and references, and if you’re not happy with either, drop them from your list immediately. Also take the time to check for complaints against the advisor at your local Better Business Bureau.
Why Experience in Crucial
There are many new and promising tax advisors in the U.S. these days, but hiring someone with experience still offers unparalleled advantage. Look for someone who has gone toe-to-toe with the IRS, or has acquired expertise in your specific area of tax need. There is no hard-and-fast rule on how long a tax advisor’s experience should be, but your vetting process should make it clear whether the candidate has the experience needed to take care of your tax situation.
Combining Tax Advice and Financial Planning Services
Again, when it comes to help with taxes, it boils down to choosing the right tax specialist. But having a tax adviser and financial planner in one expert can give you a more balanced approach to syncing your tax situation and the rest of your personal finances: investments, home mortgage costs, retirement savings, and so on.
Depending on your tax needs, you will probably be charged on a sliding scale, which simply means the more you need their help, the higher the fees will be. Tax advisers generally charge a lump sum, but there are those who are paid hourly, by completed tax returns, or by a percentage of your assets. In any case, always tax the tax advisor you’re consider before moving forward.
Success in this modern and complicated world is easier to achieve when you have experts at your side, providing advice when needed. Definitely, this include a tax advisor, but remember that not all of these experts are created equal. This is why you need to spend time choosing the right one for you.