For many of us, we’re starting to make sure we have all our finances together for the end of the year. Third quarterly tax payments are due September 15th. Many of us are assessing our health plans and IRAs, to make sure we’re using our money wisely. The tax code is complex, time consuming to read and, frankly, made by lawmakers and lobbyists who have more of their own interests in mind.
It’s hard to find someone who can help you wade through the insanity of tax compliance. Some tax advisors are more interested in making promises than being honest, some are more interested in client volume than accuracy. How do you find a tax advisor?
- Get Recommendations – Does someone you know love their tax person? Give them a call. They are most likely the honest, attentive type.
- Find an Enrolled Agent – The NAEA website is a great resource. EAs are not born, they are made with a great deal of effort. Many are bookkeepers or people who work in finance who want to expand their knowledge and ability to contact the IRS. Some people (like me) are just nerds about certain things and like digging into the inner workings of tax law to help their fellow woman or man. However they come to you, Enrolled Agents are required by the Department of Treasury to be honest and follow tax law.
- Avoid Anyone Who Promises a Fast Refund or Fast Money of any kind – The IRS is not your tax advisor. They work at their own pace with a huge staff. Some tax preparers have great relationships with people at the IRS, but no one can guarantee anything unless they’re willing to pay the price out of their own pockets. Many of those immediate refund places are offering a loan against your return. If the return is not accepted for any reason, you are out that amount plus interest, usually at very high rates.
These 3 tips make the search for a reputable tax advisor a little easier. If you are working with someone you know and trust, stick with them. If you’d like a change look at NAEA.org or just buzz me.