Finding the Right Tax Consultant for Your Business
A tax consultant is a financial expert with training in and knowledge of tax accounting and tax law. Tax consultants typically have more training than a standard tax preparer. A tax consultant’s advice can help you minimize your tax liability, capitalize on tax deductions, and manage your tax situation. Tax consultants do this by assisting in record keeping and planning for tax purposes.
Who Can Benefit from Hiring a Tax Consultant?
Every business must file taxes. Thus, every business can benefit from hiring a tax consultant. Many small business owners may believe that they can handle their business’s taxes on their own. However, tax management of a business involves a high level of knowledge and expertise on taxes specific to the business. Exacerbating this need for expertise is the fact the United States’ tax system is one of the most intricate and complicated in the world.
For these reasons, any business can benefit from hiring a tax consultant who is well versed in the tax laws and requirements for businesses and whose focus is on ensuring the business takes advantage of as many tax breaks as possible to minimize its tax liability.
Hiring a tax consultant also affords small business owners more time to focus on expanding profits, exploring new opportunities, and building the business as a whole. Another advantage of hiring a tax consultant for small business owners is that you do not need to worry about staying up to date on tax law. The tax system consists of many complex guidelines that must be scrupulously followed and this system is ever-changing, with constant updates and additions to the tax code to adapt to changes in society at large. It is a tax consultant’s job to follow these changes and educate themselves in new tax laws and regulations as they are enacted so that they can be accurately and properly applied to your business’s taxes each year.
Generally, around one percent of all taxpayers get audited each year. While this number may sound small, your business may fall within that one percent. The benefit of working with a tax consultant extends these situations where your business may be audited. In the event of an audit, your tax consultant will guide you and your business through the process and ensure your rights are protected.
Tax Preparer vs. Tax Consultant
The process of tax preparation involves the use of information you provide to fill out your tax return and claim eligible tax deductions and other benefits. Tax advisors and consultants go beyond mere tax preparation. While a tax consultant may be qualified to prepare and file your taxes, tax preparation is just one of many services offered by tax consultants.
Tax consultants work to help you plan for and save on your taxes now and in the future. Another difference between a tax preparer and a tax consultant is that while you may only reach out to your tax preparer when it is time to file your taxes, you will remain in contact with your tax consultant throughout the year and they will be providing tax-related advice for your company in real-time as your company is growing and experiencing ups and downs.
How to Find a National Tax Expert
When looking for a tax consultant for your small business the best place to start is with any tax professional you may already work with. If your business already employs or contracts a CPA or tax preparer to prepare and file your taxes each year they may also be qualified to serve as a tax consultant. This scenario also presents the added benefit of producing a tax consultant who is already familiar with your business.
However, if the tax professional you already work with is not qualified to serve as a tax consultant, they may be able to make a referral to guide you to a small business tax consultant they know and trust. Another manner of finding a tax consultant through referrals is by asking people you know in your personal lives if they could refer your business to a tax consultant or asking other small business owners you know.
If you are unable to find a referral, certain professional organizations can provide you with a list of business tax consultants located near you. The Association of International Certified Public Accountants website has a CPA directory and the National Association of Enrolled Agents can help you find an enrolled agent (enrolled agents are tax professionals licensed by the IRS).
Things to Consider in Hiring a Tax Consultant
These considerations will help you in both understanding what role you want a tax consultant to fill for your business and in determining if the potential tax consultant is a good fit to work with your business:
1. What role will the tax consultant play for my business?
Is the tax consultant going to interact with other members of my business’s financial team (i.e. attorney or financial planner)? How much access is the tax consultant going to have? Are they going to be directly involved in managing the business’s books or are they only going to review our current bookkeeping to provide advice?
2. Does the tax consultant have experience working with my kind of business and providing the kind of services I need?
To answer this question, you should ask the tax consultant to provide examples of work done in the past and success stories from past clients.
Also ask the advisor what specific strategies they have used in the past, what strategies worked, and what strategies they would use to assist your business. Look to see if they have knowledge and experience working in your industry. You want to work with an advisor that understands the unique circumstances your business operates under.
3. What does the tax consultant do for their clients year-round?
As discussed above, a relationship with a tax consultant is a constant one. Your tax consultant should be involved with you and your business throughout the year and you want to ensure that the strategies they employ throughout the year will be beneficial to your needs. You also want to ensure that you will be able to contact your advisor when you need them. Your business is likely to experience bumps along the road, as well as exciting opportunities, and you want to ensure you will be able to easily communicate with your advisor and get their advice when you need it.
4. What level of responsibility will they take for my tax return?
Your tax consultant should not only be intimately involved in the process of filing your tax return but should the situation of an audit occur you want to ensure your tax consultant will be there with you every step of the way.
Hiring a tax consultant can be very beneficial for your small business. However, you want to ensure that you hire the right person for the job. Don’t be afraid to be picky with the person you hire to handle your business’s taxes and potentially interview multiple candidates until you find the right fit.
Eco-Tax, Inc: Virtual Tax Consulting Service
Eco-Tax offers affordable tax planning and preparation packages. When working with Eco-Tax, you will be paired with an experienced CPA (certified public accountant) or EA (licensed enrolled agent) tax consultant who are experts in both your industry and your state. Your dedicated tax consultant will be your trusted advisor providing you support year-round.
Get in touch at 866.968.4848 or complete our online free consultation form. One of our experts will respond shortly!