Do you feel that you need expert help for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL.? Is so, you are not alone. According to the IRS, nearly half of the total registered taxpayers hire a professional for preparing tax return files.
The fact is that tax laws keep changing. It’s easy to overlook deductions and expenses, or miss deadlines. That’s why it’s essential that you hire a professional accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL.
Here, we will inform you about the steps that you can take to hire the right accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL. However, before that let’s find out why you should hire a tax accountant in the first place.
Why Hire a Tax Professional in St. Cloud, FL?
Hiring a professional accountant can provide various benefits. Filing tax returns for small businesses can be complex. An accountant can help you with getting the paperwork organized and calculating the tax liability.
Here are some of the reasons why you should consider hiring a professional accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL.
Accelerate the Tax Preparation Process
Hiring a tax professional for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL will help quicken the tax filing process. Getting the help of a professional for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL will help in timely submission of the tax return files. In this way, you don’t have to worry about paying the dreaded IRS penalty for late submissions.
Minimize Errors in Tax Return File
Another reason that you should consider hiring a professional tax accountant is that it can minimize errors in the document. Errors are normally made in calculating the tax account and entering the information. Sometimes, business owners enter the information in the wrong columns. Other times they forget to enter important information such as the SSN and other details. This results in the imposition of the IRS penalty. Hiring a professional tax accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL will minimize the chances of a mistake in the return file, thereby avoiding a penalty for any oversights.
Navigate through Complex Taxation Rules
Experienced tax accountants can quickly prepare the tax return file as they are well-versed with the latest taxation laws. They can help you familiarize with the tax regulations as well as documents that need to be filled. With the help of a professional accountant who offers specialized services regarding tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL, you can submit a tax return file that perfectly complies with state regulations.
Selecting the right accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL is essential. A good tax accountant can help you save time and money in filing taxes; a bad one can create additional complexities when filing taxes.
With thousands of accountants to choose from, making a decision can seem like a daunting task. The following tips will allow you to select the right accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL.
1. A Perfect Match
Make sure that the accountant you hire for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL is a perfect match for you. You should ensure that you will be comfortable working with the accountant. Consider talking with the accountant before hiring one for your business.
A perfect match does not just mean that you feel comfortable working with the accountant, it also means that the size and price of the accounting firm are right you. Consider selecting a smaller accounting firm if your business is small as they normally charge a lower price for the services. However, you should look at other aspects of credentials and expertise as well rather than making a decision on price alone.
Ask the accountant whether they have advised similar companies as yours. Also, you should ask whether they have the ability to meet the evolving needs of your business. Accountants generally differ in the engagement levels. So, you should also ask whether the accountant will be available throughout the year for sorting tax related matters. You should also establish how the correspondence will take place – phone, email, or face-to-face. While less contact will save time and costs, it can also make it difficult to get on the spot answers to questions.
2. Main Contact Person
Keep in mind that the person whom you meet at the start may not be the same person who will handle the actual tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL. So, it’s important that you ask who will be dealing with tax-related matters for you. You should make sure that the person who you will actually be in contact with during tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL is a good match for your company. You should ensure that the person in charge of handling your taxes is fully aware of the business needs.
3. Know about Accessibility
Another important consideration when hiring an accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL is the accessibility of the person. Some accountants are accessible 247 to sort out tax related matter. However, others literally enter into aestivation after the end of the tax season.
The fact is that you can face taxation issues at any time of the year. The IRS doesn’t have any schedule for auditing the accounts. That’s why it’s essential that you ensure that the professional tax accountant will be available throughout the year to handle complex taxation issues that can crop up at any time.
4. Know the Exact Needs of the Business
Before hiring a professional for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL, you should know about the exact needs of the business. Consider asking yourself whether you need the accountant to prepare tax returns or also provide strategic tax saving advice. Also, you need to determine whether you need an accountant how can handle taxation matters as your business grows.
Lastly, you should find out whether you need the services of the accountant just for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL or for meeting general business needs. The required expertise and charges are different depending on the services required by the business.
5. Expertise and Experience
The most important thing that you should check when hiring an accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL is the expertise and experience in handling matters that are relevant to your business. If you have an online business, you should ensure that the accountant has expert knowledge and experience in handling taxation matters of online businesses. In case you have a brick and mortar store, make sure that the accountant has plenty of experience in handling clients similar to you.
A true accounting professional will tell you outright whether he or she is appropriate for your company. This can be either because the required tasks are too complex for which the accountant lacks services or because the task is too simple that does not require high expertise and subsequent high charges.
6. Ask About Credentials
When hiring an accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL, you should ask about the right credentials. It’s recommended that you hire an accountant with a Certified Public Accountant (CPA) license. Professionals with this certification are highly qualified to handle almost any type of financial-related task. They can not only prepare taxes for you but also advise you on the best tax saving strategies.
What’s more CPA accountants are qualified to handle tax matters. They are classified as qualified tax preparers by the IRS. This means that the professionals can represent you in any tax related issues to sort out the matter.
7. Find Out About Technology
An accountant that you hire for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL should know how to work with technology. Manual tax preparation is giving way to digital tax filing. Using technology can result in quick and accurate preparation of tax return files. This can translate into tax savings as you won’t likely have to pay any penalty for wrong or late filing.
Ask the accountant whether he or she has expertise in using QuickBooks, Xerox, TurboTax or other software. These accounting apps can greatly reduce the work and effort required in filing taxes. Accountants should know how to use the software to speed up the tax filing process.
8. Charges for Tax Preparation
Accountants charge for their services differently. Some charge a flat rate, while others charge by the hour. An hourly-rate can sometimes be more cost-effective as compared to a flat rate. This is because tax preparation is not a continuous process.
Regardless of the method for charging services, you should ask an estimate of the costs upfront. Consider providing past year’s tax returns to your accountant so that the tax professional can give you an accurate quote. That said, you should not focus too much on the service charges. Always go for quality service as you will be able to save more in the long run.
9. Request for a Preliminary Meeting
Before you hire the tax accountant, you should ask for a preliminary hearing. You should spend about 15 to 30 minutes with the accountant getting to know the services. This is adequate time to assess whether the accountant will be a good match for your company.
10. Have the Right Attitude
You should ask about the risk tolerance when handling taxation matters. Make sure that the accountant is not overly aggressive in complying with tax compliance. This attitude can unnecessarily put your business at risk. Instead, they should follow a middle of the road strategy regarding taxation-related matters. The accountant should do as much as is possible to keep you out of trouble. Anyone who goes above the line of duty in compliance with the IRS requirements is probably not doing your business any good.
11. Hire the Right Professional
You should know the difference between a tax accountant and tax attorney. The latter might be a great idea only if you need legal help with your tax related matters. A tax attorney does not necessarily prepare or have the expertise in filing tax returns. You should hire a professionally qualified accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL.
12. Post Assessment
The job is not finished once you hire a tax accountant for tax preparation in St. Cloud, FL. Make sure that you do a post assessment to ensure that things are working out. You should hold monthly meetings checking on the work of the accountant.
Assessing performance of the accountant is more than asking questions. The tax accountant should be proactive in informing you about important tax related matters. The ideal accountant will update you on the progress once every three or four months. The accountant can ask you whether you are having any issues and work with you to resolve any issues.
Hiring an accountant for handing tax-related matters is not that difficult. However, hiring the right candidate for the job will involve a little effort on your part. You should carry on a thorough background check to ensure that you have hired the right accountant.
The best way to know about the accountant is to engage in a conversation. You should know what questions should be asked to ensure that you hire the right accountant for handling taxation matters. The right accountant should have proper credentials — preferably a CPA — and expertise in handling taxation matters for firms similar to yours.