Hiring a tax professional is money well spent. Tax rules have become more and more complex. Using a pro to prepare your taxes may save you from paying more tax than you should. It is probably less costly to hire a tax preparation service than a nasty tax surprise and a visit from the auditors of the taxing authority in your country, for example the IRS in the US.

Rather than hire a tax preparation at the end of the financial year, consider making tax planning a part of your overall business strategy. It will help you maximize profitability and limit exposure to tax liability. Many accounting firms also specialize in tax planning. When they advice clients on how to structure a business venture or a transaction, they help them take advantage of tax savings wherever possible. A few examples of such transactions are multiple-state operations, purchase or sale of business, business succession planning, taxpayer dispute resolution and e-commerce transactions.

Tips on choosing a tax planning and preparation service firm

There are several ways to find a suitable tax planning consulting firm. There are several ways to find a suitable consulting firm. Easiest is to go to the internet and look for them on a B2B marketplace. You can also ask friends, relatives and business associates for recommendations.

 There are several things to keep in mind while hiring a tax consulting firm.

  • Consider a firm that is similar in size to your company. Large companies tend to hire big four consulting firms. If you are a small company consider one of the smaller companies that have the desire, expertise and resources to help your business.
  • Preferably look for a tax consulting service that has previous experience in your industry.
  • Ask the tax planning firm about the educational background and experience of its professionals. Also check if the firm is registered and licensed to operate in your state or country.
  • If you want to hire the tax planning service for a short term assignment, make sure they have the requisite experience in the area. Search on the internet for any articles written by the professionals of the company. It can tell a lot about their area of expertise.
  • Some firms have expertise only in personal income tax service. Make sure the company you hire has enough experience in business tax services. Can they help you with business tax preparation all agencies including federal, state and the city?
  • It makes sense to interview specific consultants who will work on your account. Do they have the requisite skills and experience to work for your company? Are they easy to work with and are they approachable? Are they interested in working on your account?
  • Ask the tax consultant for a few references. Call previous and current clients and inquire if they were happy with the service. Did they gain from consultant’s advice? Ask if the consultant is easily accessible. Does she take enough interest in the engagement?
  • Before you make the hiring decision, ask the company to examine your business model and financial statements and provide some example as to how they can help you save money.
  • If you use financial software in your company, make sure the software used by the tax preparation service is compatible with it or you will not be able to transfer any data back to your company.
  • As a small business owner you may need advice regarding capital gains taxes, estate taxes, real estate taxation, incentive stock options, multi-state operations, e-commerce transactions, purchase and sale of property, business succession planning, tax dispute resolutions etc. Can the firm offer you advice in these areas?

How much does it cost to hire a Tax planning and preparation service?
Fees for tax services vary by country and the level of service. To get the best deal, compare price quotes from multiple tax planning and preparation service companies at a B2B marketplace. Also ask your business associates and friends for recommendations. Tax preparation services can charge by the hour or based on the forms you need to complete to file your taxes. For example in the US, a simple personal tax return with form 1040 may cost about $100 while complex business taxes can run into thousands of dollars.