A good tax preparer can be a year-round advisor who can help guide your business through potential tax pitfalls. If you are looking to hire a tax preparer for this upcoming tax season, there are several items to consider.
Here are some key questions to ask before you hire a tax
1. What are your qualifications?
There are different types of professionals who prepare tax returns, and based on your needs, one may be better than another. Not all accountants who prepare tax returns have a professional designation, but these are the typical designations that you will see:
2. What types of businesses do you work with?
It’s very helpful to have a tax preparer
who understands your industry. A CPA who
provides services to other home inspectors will be aware of issues unique to the
home inspection industry. The best
source for tax preparers specializing in your industry is to ask other home
inspectors who they use.
3. Are you available to answer questions throughout the tax year?
It is crucial to find a tax preparer who can answer your questions during the tax year. That way, you can get good advice before taking actions that may have tax consequences. Think twice before working with someone who is going to be available to you only to prepare taxes once the tax year is over.
4. Who will I be working with?
Depending on the size of the firm you choose, your work may be delegated to a junior staff member. It is helpful to know up front who will be your main point of contact at the firm. It is also good to find out what the usual response time is for any questions you may have.
5. What is your fee structure?
Some tax preparers will charge by the hour, while others charge a flat fee based on the type of tax return being prepared. It is always a good idea to understand the billing structure before you start working with a tax preparer. Be sure to ask for an estimate of what you will be charged so that there are no surprises. Most professionals can provide an estimate based on your prior year’s tax returns.
Regardless of the size of your home inspection business, there are many moving parts on the business side that are important to get right. So, be sure to take the time you need to find the most qualified professionals so you can concentrate on providing the best inspection services possible.
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