Tax planning requires enough preparation to avoid inconveniences in manage your taxes. Having a tax accountant can go a long way in making this easy and real. Working with a professional accountant in properly planning will save you on time, enhance accuracy, and bracing tax problems as well as making it easy for you to control your operations remotely.
Understand Why You Need a Tax Accountant
You should take some time to focus on exactly what you need your tax accountant to do. Here are some common situations:
Preparing your own taxes is time-consuming, stressful, or confusing.
You want to make sure your tax returns are accurate.
Your tax situation is pretty complex, and you need specialized advice and tips.
You would like to pay as little taxes as possible, and need detailed planning and advice.
You are facing a tax problem, such as filing back taxes, paying off a tax debt, or fighting an IRS audit.
You run a business, invest in the stock market, own rental property, or live outside the United States.
After making up your mind to go for a professional to handle your tax, you will need to be sure of the kind of a pro to work with. There are, however, different pros that can have the job done for you, either the certified public accountants, who have gone through proper training to work with taxes, or the enrolled agents who have been trained hands-on. Although these pros may give you what you are looking for, it is important noting that there may be some slight differences in terms of charges, and their field of expertise too.
Before you start your search, you might be wondering about all the different kinds of tax pros out there or who can do your taxes. Basically, anyone can call himself a tax preparer and file your return for you. There are two types of tax professionals, though, that are probably most appropriate for you and most people: certified public accountants and enrolled agents. Both types can represent you before the IRS in case you get audited.
Certified public accountants or CPAs are accountants who have passed qualifying state exams and met specific education and experience requirements for that title. Not all CPAs are experts on income taxes, though, so when looking for someone to prepare your return, you’ll want to ask about the CPA’s experience in handling individual taxes. A benefit of going with a CPA is these financial pros may be able to help you with other financial situations like estate planning or financial planning in addition to doing your taxes.
As long as your tax accountant will prepare the returns for you, it is not a guarantee that all will go well. You may count on him to make the job a success for you, but make sure to go an extra mile to ascertain that everything is done in accordance with your expectation rather than working on assumption that your tax pro knows everything about your state’s laws regarding taxes, after all, you are responsible for your taxes.
Never assume something can’t be deducted as a business expense.
Bodybuilders have written off baby oil, a junkyard owner deducted the cost of cat food for the felines she counted on to keep rats away, and an exotic dancer won a case against the IRS that allowed her to write off her breast implants.
Just because I’m a CPA doesn’t necessarily mean I know taxes.
Ask about my background, what kind of practice I have, and if I’m familiar with your state’s tax laws.
You can go ahead and sign your return without looking it over—
But remember, even though you’re paying me to prepare it, the IRS holds you legally responsible for everything on it.