Tax accountants are responsible for collecting tax-related information, taxation reporting to authorities and tax management. A tax accountant can save you from legal trouble with the relevant tax regulatory body in your state or locality. This means they need to know everything about tax laws and regulations and also remain up to date if at all they are to offer you proper guidance on all tax related issues.
Failure to comply with the set laws and regulations can land you in trouble usually in hefty fines, but action also taken against your business or businesses. It is important to get a tax accountant to guide you through the complicated tax laws and requirements. A tax accountant has several tasks to play, including the following.
- Creating tax data collecting systems
- Devising proper tax strategies to reduce or eliminate tax payments
- Updating company sales tax database with any changes to tax rates
- Preparing and updating tax provision schedules
- Negotiating with the tax authorities over any tax payment issues
- Advising on the impact of any new laws on the tax liabilities and impact on corporate strategies
- Identifying tax savings and coordinating any tax preparation work that is outsourced
- Coordinating audits and completing tax reporting on time
When you have a reliable tax accountant to work with, you will have little to worry about around taxes and remaining compliant. But you also need to ensure that you choose the best one to handle your personal or business finances to enjoy a pleasant experience all through. Here are a few questions you should ask the tax accountant you are about to hire to gauge competence and suitability for the slot in your affairs.
What is your clientele? It is important that you get a tax accountant who is familiar with your line of business. Every industry has certain tax rules that need to be followed and how income is reported. Your tax expert should know the ins and out of the industry you are in.
What tax program are you familiar with? Even though this should not really be the basis for making your selection, it is good to find out what program they are going to use. QuickBooks is the most common, especially for small businesses, but there are different tax software options that can be used. Ensure the program will not in any way interfere with your need to switch to another accountant in the need ever arises.
What is your experience? Apart from understanding your line of business, a tax accountant who is familiar with the relevant tax agents and how they work is best placed to offer you the kind of services you may need. Certification could mean that they have some experience handling audits and have knowledge on how the tax system works, hence financial planning will not be too much of a challenge for them.
How available are you? The truth is that most accounting firms work during tax seasons only. If you are a small business, you may require assistance all year long, hence the importance of getting a tax accountant you can rely on whenever an issue arises and needs immediate addressing.
Who handles the work? It is not uncommon for accountants to outsource work to third parties. It is always best that you know exactly who will be handling the work so you put in measures that will give you an easy time speaking directly to them in case that becomes necessary.
How do you bill your services? Some may offer flat rates for all services, whereas others may charge on an hourly basis. Ensure whichever plan you settle for is reasonable and worth the services you will be getting.
Byline: Stephen has worked as an expert tax consultants Sydney in a number of small to large accounting firms in Brisbane. In 2008 he founded Blake & Co Accountants and in 2009 he founded BrisTax. Professionally, he specialises in income tax. He has for many years had a keen interest in both business and technology.