Save your taxes, choose your Tax Consultant wisely

Thinking about paying taxes and how to compute, gives you a headache, better hire a professional who will not only reduce your pain, also look into all the other aspects to file the forms and returns as it involves payment to the authorities, escaping or missing them will hurt the company or an individual very dearly. Navigating the complex rules, which as an individual we find is smoothly dined, without any implications form federal and state laws.

Who is a tax, consultants?

Trained in tax laws, the tax advisors advise the clients, understanding the regulations and advise the clients to comply with the state tax legislation become the primary responsibility of the tax practitioner. Having an experience on the dynamic changes in the business environment and understand the impact of tax treaties implication on the financials of a company, become essential and require professional tax consultant to view and give their best advice on matters which could have an international impact.

What to look for in a tax consultant

Before getting into the number crunching and trying to figure out all the income and expenses heads appropriately, frequent questions to ask:

  • years of experience they have in dealing with different areas of taxation
  • do they have appropriate licenses
  • do their fees commensurate with the matters to be addressed
  • any additional fees charged for consulting on general business
  • are they available locally in case they are a part of a big group and look into taxation matters of immediate nature
  • Will they look into the past returns?
  • Do they e-file the returns?
  • Will they advise you on matters of finance and tax planning?
  • Is it going to be all virtual or will there be a meeting to address important issues?
  • Will they represent you in IRS in case of any taxation related queries?

Fees Charged

Having relevant experience in the area of your business is important to understand the intent and the purpose of hiring such consultants who otherwise are an expensive deal. The fees charged are on the higher side, hence as your tax consultant, they should be briefing the client of all the complexities which they have simplified and considered to prepare the returns, the fees charged should be in relation to the number of returns prepared, or the hours spent in the cases individually, you can choose the hourly basis over the per return basis in case there are matters which require research and past analysis of numbers and trends to represent cases of the client.

Timings

As the filing of returns approach, longer is the time is taken to get all the necessary documents, prepare the return and then e-file them, to finish all the entire year’s work and file, the consultants have around 9-10 week of time, hence a detailed plan to cover all the aspects of the audit should be covered and data taken into account for preparing the returns well in advance to avoid the last minute rush, penalty, later fees.

General guidelines for the business

Apart from choosing a good tax consultant, many a times mistakes happen with so many provisions to be followed under the law, and you have the IRS audit fear always in the back of your mind, some of the biggest issues which tax professionals view is:

  • mixing up all the expenses into one head and not bifurcating what is for the business and what is for pleasure and comes from personal expenses
  • have a tax-friendly business model so that one is not coming under the double taxation,
  • make all the tax payments on time, keep a religious track of the due dates and the necessary documents to be filed without missing out and avoid late fees,
  • keep a record of all the cost incurred to set up the business, if it is a startup have all the receipt of the purchases done, to be deducted as per the provisions mentioned by IRS

The responsibility of tax consultants


Primarily these Tax advisors help the client in:

  • filing the tax returns and advising their clients on the tax liabilities to be provided for in the financials
  • Provide provisional tax figures based on a company’s production, purchase, and sales.
  • Maintain a record of the previous tax filings and deal with any disputes arising out of changes in the calculation of tax liabilities due to recent changes in the financial budgets of the company and also recalculate the tax amounts based on changes in tax laws.
  • They compile all the transactions, bills which are important records for the firms and companies to substantiate in case of any notice from the federal.
  • Important suggestions are made to the corporate and tax panels to incorporate a mechanism to avoid double taxation between countries and also provide valuable inputs in complying with treaties developed between different countries on bilateral corporate governance.

Representing the clients at IRS, and assist them in complying with the corporate taxation requirements is a routine work for tax professionals. Challenges involving filing due diligence reports of big corporate and liaising with several other tax experts are both enriching, knowledge sharing and understanding what is happening across the other side of the globe is a part of the everyday lunch and coffee breaks these tax professionals have.