According to the old saw, there are two eternal truths about living on planet Earth: you won’t be on it forever, but you’ll most certainly be paying taxes while you’re here. You’re not alone if you think this is a rather bleak perspective, but there’s something to be said about confronting the truth, right? Besides, while you might not be able to do much about the whole mortality thing, there are definitely ways to lower your taxes. The first (and most important) step is finding a great tax advisor.
A great tax advisor is especially important if you’re a small business owner. These four tips will help you find a reputable tax professional you can partner with over the long haul.
1. Hire a CPA Who Specializes in Small Business
There are plenty of people out there who qualify as tax professionals, but small businesses should always go with a Certified Public Accountant. You’ll get even better results if you hire a CPA who caters to small businesses. No professional is better equipped to decrease your tax burden than one who’s spent their career working with organizations similar to yours.
2. Do Your Research to Find the Right Tax Advisor
Once you’ve made a list of qualified candidates, it’s time to start doing your research. The partnership you’ll form with your CPA is an important one, so learn everything you can before entering into it. Here’s how you can start getting acquainted:
Find out everything you can about their education and previous experience
Read online reviews about your candidates, especially ones written by small business owners
Set up a series of face-to-face meetings to find out which CPA is the best fit
Talk to former clients of each CPA to find out how they’ve performed in the past
3. Look for Creativity
Certified Public Accountants might have a reputation for straightforward analytical thinking, but they certainly don’t all think alike. No two small businesses are alike either. They each come to the table with different goals and a unique set of tax needs. That’s why you should seek out a CPA who can think creatively, in ways that are specific to your financial situation and that can adjust to your changing needs.
4. A Great Tax Advisor Asks Lots of Questions
The only way a tax professional can deliver the solutions your small business needs is by asking a lot of questions. How else could they get to know the little details of your financial situation? Without certain levels of engagement and curiosity, the best thing a tax advisor can offer is outmoded cookie-cutter solutions. Your business needs (and deserves) better, so make a hasty retreat from any CPA who doesn’t seem interested enough to ask at least a few questions.
An Investment Just Like Any Other
When choosing a tax advisor, it’s important not to let cost deter you from making a sound decision. Yes, cost should be a factor in all your business decisions, but you have to play the long game when it comes to reducing your taxes. Also: don’t think of this cost as an absolute value. Instead, compare your tax advisor’s rates to how much money they’ll save you in the long run. This is the calculus you’ll need to apply to make a truly informed decision.
It’s almost a cliché to say so by now, but a good tax advisor is a significant investment in your company’s future. No one is suggesting you have to pay outrageous or inflated fees, but what’s a little upfront money compared to the potential savings you’ll continue to accrue for as long as the doors to your business are open?
About Juan Pizarro
Juan A. Pizarro Llanos was born in Santurce, Puerto Rico. He's a Tax Advocate, a Certified Public Accountant and an Entrepreneur by heart. His passion for helping others and making a difference is remarkable. With more than 7 years of experience. Worked for Fortune 500 companies as a W2 Contractor under JPizars - CPA & Business Consultants LLC. During that time he saw the opportunity and the need of Small, Medium Businesses and Individuals not having a good CPA firm to guide them in the process. Juan A. Pizarro Llanos decide to continue his passion as a CPA. Juan A. Pizarro Llanos, CEO and Founder of JPIzars – CPA & Business Consultants LLC had work with clients in countries like Dominican Republic, Puerto Rico and Colombia. Also, in the United States in states like Florida, California, Texas, Georgia, Maryland, Virginia, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, The Carolina's, Iowa and Arizona. Juan A. Pizarro Llanos has a BBA degree in Accounting with a minor in Business Communications from the University of Puerto Rico (Rio Piedras Campus). Also, Juan A. Pizarro Llanos has a Master of Accountancy (MAcc) from Bowling Green State University.