Once per year, taxes take center stage. And if you’re like the typical small business owner, you dread having to deal with all the paperwork associated with filing taxes.
If you’re a small business owner (or maybe your side gig has grown into a full-fledged small business), it may be time to find a tax professional to help you with your business.
In partnership with Block Advisors, we’re going to break down what you need to know about finding a tax pro for your business. Block Advisors is H&R Block’s small business service, focusing on helping small business owners with the accounting and tax help they need. Make an appointment here to get started >>
Now, let’s check out three tips to help you hire the right tax pro for your small business.
Decide On The Type Of Tax Pro You Need
Come tax time, small business owners may feel the need to hire tax help. But it’s important to find the right person to help your business run smoother. These are the three main types of tax professionals your small business might need.
People who specialize in record-keeping are arguably some of the most important people for every small business. They track expenses, organize receipts, and track inflows to the company.
Since bookkeeping doesn’t require specific licensure, many bookkeepers have inexpensive hourly rates. While bookkeepers often won’t be the ones who prepare your tax return, they make tax filing a whole lot easier.
You can do bookkeeping yourself by hand or with software. But it can become tedious, and even challenging to do it correctly as things get more complicated.
If you think you’re ready to outsource, check out Block Advisors. They offer bookkeeping services as part of their package to help small businesses.
Tax advisors are financial professionals who can help small business owners make strategic tax moves. Advisors can also help business owners who are facing trouble with the IRS.
Business owners who want to do strategic tax planning may want to work with a Certified Public Accountant (C.P.A.) that specializes in their industry. If you’re in a professional association, you may want to ask colleagues for recommendations. Business owners can also contact a local Chamber of Commerce to find local professionals.
Before working with a C.P.A. be sure to check their credentials using a site like CPAVerify.org. It’s also customary to interview a C.P.A. before hiring them on. Ask them questions about their billing, their specialties, and whether they’ve helped clients like you. Business owners who owe back taxes may need an advisor who is authorized to represent them before this IRS. An enrolled agent, C.P.A., and attorney are all able to practice before the IRS.
Business owners may want to consider an attorney rather than a C.P.A. to help them. Tax attorneys often have a special degree called an LL.M. in taxation. They can help businesses with complex tax problems. They can also provide representation if a business is struggling to stay on top of payments to the IRS.
The American Bar Association has a find a lawyer option. You can also seek personal references for tax attorneys or use sites like Nolo.com to find qualified attorneys. It is very important to check an attorney’s credentials and interview them before hiring them for your business.
Tax advisors are typically the most expensive tax pros. It's important to clarify the billing structure (including billing minimums) before engaging their services. Plus, you usually want to work with a tax advisor well before tax season (think summertime) so that you can make plans before the end of the year.
Block Advisors has experienced tax professionals that are authorized to represent taxpayers before the IRS, so you can obtain help with an IRS notice year-round.
A tax professional with a preparer tax identification number (PTIN) can prepare and file your taxes. This includes tax preparers who are Enrolled Agents (EA) and C.P.A.s as well as tax professionals who have trained to prepare tax returns. They can file taxes on behalf of your business.
You’ll want to select someone who has training and expertise for businesses like yours. Block Advisors has experienced tax professionals with an average of 10 years experience that can help you understand the best ways to plan for your taxes year-round. Major companies like Block Advisors offer a variety of filing options, including virtual filing options for small business owners.
If you’re looking for someone locally, tap your professional network for recommendations. Many small accounting firms specialize in tax preparation for small to midsize businesses. Block Advisors has professionals around the country to help.
What’s great about using a single service like Block Advisors for all your needs is that you can make sure everything from bookkeeping to planning to tax filing is done right.
Choose The Model That Works For Your Business
In most cases, small business owners don’t need a full-time tax professional to meet their company’s needs. However, a company that needs to do payroll, invoicing, and record-keeping may decide to hire a full or part-time bookkeeper.
Other services, like tax advising and tax filing typically don’t require full-time employees. Small business owners can find local (or online) professionals to help their businesses on an as-needed basis.
Block Advisors allows you to use their services for some, or all of your needs. Check out Block Advisors here >>
Consider Doing Taxes Yourself (With A Technological Assist)
Small business owners can absolutely choose to do taxes themselves. It's especially easy if you don’t have to manage payroll taxes and withholding on your own. Tax filing services like Block Advisors also make tax filing easy for small business owners, with unlimited expert help when you need it.
Plus, if you do get stuck, Block Advisors has a ton of options to help you – from screen sharing to on-demand, getting help from a pro is easy.
However, business owners that need tax advice may decide that hiring an expert is worth the money. Tax planning (or tax defense) can save a company a lot of money in the long run. If you have a growing company, and you aren’t taking steps to save on taxes, a consultation could be a worthwhile investment.
Is It Time For You To Take On A Tax Pro For Your Business?
A tax pro can reduce burdensome overhead and help you grow your profitability. But before you engage a tax professional consider the role you want them to play in your business. By carefully considering your needs, you are more likely to find the tax professional that will help your business grow.
A good place to start is talking to the pros at Block Advisors. With years of experience, and backed by a well-known tax firm nationwide, you can get the help you need for your business. Check out Block Advisors here.
Robert Farrington is America’s Millennial Money Expert® and America’s Student Loan Debt Expert™, and the founder of The College Investor, a personal finance site dedicated to helping millennials escape student loan debt to start investing and building wealth for the future. You can learn more about him on the About Page, or on his personal site RobertFarrington.com.
He regularly writes about investing, student loan debt, and general personal finance topics geared towards anyone wanting to earn more, get out of debt, and start building wealth for the future.
He has been quoted in major publications including the New York Times, Washington Post, Fox, ABC, NBC, and more. He is also a regular contributor to Forbes.
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