Does your tax preparer truly understand the rules and regulations of how your small business should be taxed? The wrong tax preparer can cost you money and leave your small business vulnerable to audits and other tax authority entanglements. Here are some questions to consider when searching for a tax preparation service for your small business.
Is the tax preparer experienced in small-business tax law?
Finding a tax preparation service that understands the tax challenges and solutions most appropriate to the small business world can help your company avoid legal entanglements and ensure that you receive all the deductions and credits your company is entitled to. A greater degree of expertise and experience can translate directly to increased defense against costly audits and unnecessary tax expenses.
Has the tax preparer had frequent run-ins with state and federal tax officials?
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Office of Professional Responsibility maintains records of sanctions and penalties levied against tax agents and certified public accountants (CPAs). State boards of accountancy can also provide valuable information regarding the status of tax preparers and any malpractice or ethical problems associated with a particular individual or office.
Will the preparer pay the interest charges and penalties that are assessed for his or her mistakes and work actively to provide you with tax defense services if necessary?
Most reputable tax accountants and preparers will agree to pay these penalties if you are audited due to mistakes made on their part. Getting this agreement in writing can even create increased motivation for the preparer to take special care when working on your small business tax returns.
Is the tax preparer responsive to your particular needs and motivations?
If you are primarily concerned about being audited, tax preparation professionals can take steps to reduce the risk of unwanted IRS attention to your returns. If limiting your overall tax liability is your most important motivation, your tax preparer can work more aggressively to find ways to reduce the amount due and payable to the IRS.
Are references available for your chosen tax preparer?
Most established professional tax preparation experts can provide a list of individuals and businesses that have used and been satisfied with their tax services. Pay close attention to the recommendations provided by companies in your industry or in related fields: These comments are most likely to have direct bearing on your own experiences with the tax firm or individual preparer.
Is the tax preparation professional licensed or certified?
Many states don’t require any type of licensing for tax preparers. However, certified public accountants and enrolled agents are often far more qualified to help you manage your small business tax concerns.
Protecting your business
By asking these key questions before settling on a particular preparer, firm or tax preparation network, you can ensure the most effective and accurate tax services for your small business. This can significantly reduce your risk of being audited and provide you with additional financial resources to continue the regular operations of your small business enterprise.
About the author: Mary Sutton is a Senior Writer for Fertile Content and a frequent guest contributor to many blogs Google+