Need a tax advisor but not sure how to go about choosing one? Here are five tips on how to find the best tax advisor for you.
1. Ensure They’re Qualified
When you’re looking for a tax advisor, you’ll want to work with someone who will give you quality advice. So make sure they have the right qualifications and look for someone who is a credentialed preparer, such as an enrolled agent.
An enrolled agent is a federally-authorized tax professional. They’ll have a wide range of knowledge in tax-related subjects, such as income, estate, payroll, non-profit, and return taxes. Enrolled agents are also licensed by the IRS to represent you if you’re being audited. Enrolled agents go through extensive training, testing, and continuing education to maintain their credentials and stay up-to-date on tax regulations and laws so they can serve you better.
You can also get an idea of their level of professionalism by checking for membership in various organizations. For example, they might be a member of the National Association of Enrolled Agents or the National Association of Tax Professionals. To belong to organizations like these, your tax advisor needs to meet certification requirements, and that’s also a good sign.
2. Inquire about Experience
Making sure a tax advisor is qualified is crucial. But when finding the right tax professional, don’t forget about experience. Maybe someone is qualified, but if they just finished school, they probably don’t have a lot of experience with tax filing or long-term tax planning.
Especially if you have specific needs, like you’re a small business owner, you want to choose a tax professional who has experience in those areas. The type of experience your tax advisor has can allow them to prepare your return with accuracy. They’ll also know to watch for common issues that might escape your notice.
3. Confirm They’re Available All Year
When choosing a tax professional, make sure they’ll stick around all year and not just during tax season. There are things that can happen throughout the year that can have a big effect on how you file your taxes for that year. So it can be very worthwhile to have year-round help.
When life happens, having a reliable tax advisor who will answer your tax questions in August (not just January through April) can make a huge difference. The best tax advisor will be able to take your call, respond to your email, or welcome you for a visit at any time. They’ll also be able to see if there are things you can do to save money with your taxes as you move forward. This way, you aren’t scrambling to find deductions and credits last-minute at tax time.
4. Make Sure You’re Clear on Fee Structure
It’s important to know you can afford your tax advisor before you decide to go with them. Depending on your tax needs, you’ll likely pay more if you need more help. So, decide on what services you’ll need from a tax advisor, then when you find one, ask how they charge. Some charge a lump sum for tax services and others may charge by the hour. Make sure to also ask any advisor about fees before moving forward.
5. Check if Your Advisor will Have Your Back
If you’re audited, will your tax professional represent you to the IRS? This is a crucial detail to find out if you’re looking for the right tax professional. Ask your tax advisor what issues they can represent you on. Not every certification has the ability to represent you just in case, so ask questions. If you want maximum representation with the IRS, look for an enrolled agent.
Choose the Right Tax Advisor
The right tax advisor can help you navigate your tax planning and preparation correctly and accurately. When you have complicated taxes, your relationship with your tax professional is especially important.
If you’re looking for qualified, trustworthy, and seasoned tax advisors, look no further than Gaylor Tax Services. We can provide assistance with tax planning and tax preparation, as well as IRS representation. Our experts are here to answer your questions and guide you in the right direction for financial success. No matter what, don’t hesitate to contact us. We are located in Phoenix, Arizona but can assist you anywhere in the state.