People often think that tax advisors are for the extremely rich. However, just a few hundred dollars can reduce your tax liability by several thousand dollars each year. Keep reading to learn seven things about tax consultants that you may not have known.
What Is a Tax Consultant?
Tax consultants are professional experts who specialize in financial-related counseling and tax law. They offer advice to clients related to a range of financial matters, including credits, deductions, and interest statements, as well as income tax returns. Some work exclusively online, but the best tax advisors can be found working independently or for government agencies, financial consulting firms, or public accounting firms.
Besides providing useful tax planning advice to clients, they also must stay abreast of changes to tax requirements at both the state and federal levels. Tax consulting clients can range from individuals and partnerships to corporations and companies. They also often travel to their clients.
The best tax advisors have excellent oral and written communication skills. They must be able to not only understand the ever-changing complex tax landscape but also explain to clients from all walks of life, the best way to handle their tax situation.
Tax Advisor Requirements
Tax advisors have a degree in tax law, finance, accounting, or other related fields. Tax advisors who also prepare tax returns, per IRS law, have passed a Registered Tax Return Preparer competency test before obtaining a PTIN (preparer tax identification number). Tax advisors must also be able to pass tax compliance and sustainability checks.
Licensed EAs and CPAs are usually the most qualified of all tax advisors. These consultants have both the tax experience and formal education to provide the most strategic tax advice. However, tax advisors without formal education to accompany their knowledge of tax law can also provide excellent tax consulting services.
How to Choose a Tax Advisor
It is advisable to take care when seeking your personal tax advisor. Tax advisors possess a wide array of varying qualifications and specialties. Make sure he understands your financial goals and can help you achieve them. While there are consultants who operate solely online, you should look for a tax advisor who will meet with you in person. The best tax advisors will also be an EA (enrolled agent) or CPA (certified public accountant). However, you may also seek advice from preparers, supervised preparers, or attorneys.
Here are some critical things you should look for when determining the best tax advisor for you:
- Proof of qualifications
- Easy to contact
- Provides all receipts and records of your returns
- Traceable, satisfactory consulting history
- Reasonable fees
Tax Advisor Fees
Several factors determine how much you will pay for a tax advisor. One of the most significant of these is location. Regions with a lower cost of living usually have much more affordable tax advisor fees than regions with a higher cost of living. Another factor that greatly affects how much your tax consulting meeting will cost is the complexity of your tax situation. In other words, a simpler tax situation will cost less than someone with a highly complex tax situation.
Finally, the more experience and qualifications your consultant has, the more you will probably pay. However, spending more means you get better personal care and save more money.
Schedule Your Initial Consultation Today
Tax consultants are not just for the rich and famous. They are for anyone who does not feel confident he or she can minimize tax liability for the year and maximize tax refunds. For more information on how a tax consultant can help save you money, contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.