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Qualified and experienced business tax accountants can not only save you moneyand avoid potential trouble with the IRS during tax season, they can also offer excellent advice to help you with your day-to-day business operations. More often than not we tend to think of business tax accountants as numbers people, but a good accountant does more than just figure the numbers – they can help you understand what those numbers mean.
As an entrepreneur, your business means the world to you. It is your livelihood, your chosen career and what you earn a good living with. Preparing your company’s taxes can be time-consuming, stressful, and confusing. Finding a business tax accountant to prepare and file your taxes just makes good business sense. They will be accurate, precise and the accountant will give you a break from all the hassle and paperwork you have done in the past!
So where do you begin when looking to hire a business tax accountant? Here are some things to think about when interviewing:
Your industry: You want to make sure your accountant understands the type of business you are in. A hotel will have certain rules to follow for wages and tips, just as a construction company deals with issues related to contract workers. You need a business tax accountant who has worked with similar companies like yours and knows the ins and outs of the industry.
EAs versus CPAs: Enrolled Agents (EA) are tax professionals who have passed a rigorous test and background check administered by the IRS, while Certified Public Accountants (CPA) are accountants who have passed the CPA Exam and are licensed by the state they work in. While both professionals are excellent and qualified at what they do, as a business owner; you may want to lean towards a CPA. They not only have more comprehensive certification requirements, they are state-certified and have training in such areas as financial planning and bookkeeping. In generally, whether you decide to go with an EA or CPA, ensure your business tax accountant has had experience in dealing with the IRS, including defending clients that have been audited.
Hours of operation: Generally speaking, you really want to move forward with a business tax accountant that works all year-around. Some accounting firms shut their doors after April 15 and only re-open for the following tax season. If something comes up, you want to be able to rely on someone who can help … at any time of the year!
Fees: To avoid a large unexpected bill at the end of filing season, ask your business tax accountant how they bill their clients. Do they go hourly or to they offer a flat-rate fee? Know what you are supposed to pay, before they start doing the work.
Word of mouth: Last but not least, if you are looking for a qualified, trustworthy, and reliable business tax accountant: turn to your network. Ask friends, family, and peers in the business community. Referrals from those you love and respect will be your best bet in the long run.
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