Taxes are part and parcel of doing business. And when something is so common and so expected, a funny thing happens—we tend to underestimate it. Business owners spend years refining their vision, honing their pitch, and hiring the people they need to succeed. But when it comes time to plan for taxes, more often than not, they take the “I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it” approach. After all, there’s that family friend that’s a tax consultant and preparer, right?
And they did their personal taxes that one time, so how hard could it be to do business tax preparation? But even that may be more thought than the typical business owner gives to their business taxes. The reality is, it’s simply not a concern—until it is.
But that hands-off approach doesn’t affect how important taxes are. Mistakes cost money, and so do missed opportunities. Sometimes it’s mistakes like these that lead business owners to seek out tax preparation services. Other times, it’s the realization that they’re spending more time in front of tax preparation software than they are speaking with customers. If you’re reading this post, it likely means that you’ve deemed it the right time to seek out such services for your business.
So what should you consider when choosing the right tax planner or advisor to work with?
Understanding your business and what you need from a tax professional is key. Do you simply need help with taxes? Do your needs run deeper than that? Are you looking for assistance setting up your business entity? Or perhaps figuring out your payroll taxes? Having the right structures in place will help you avoid costly setbacks down the road. And understanding what you need will help you better assess what you’re looking for from a tax advisor.
Once you have an understanding of your needs, it’s important to look for a tax professional who understands your business—and who understands business in general. Skills in the realm of personal accounting don’t necessarily translate to business accounting. If you’re a small business owner, seek out a tax advisor who has experience working with small businesses, and preferably ones similar to your own.
A great idea is to ask around to other business owners. Here at Steiner Business Solutions, we’re proud of the work we’ve done for businesses in and around Richmond, VA, and it’s always a great feeling when we hear that someone found us after a positive conversation with an existing client.
Once you’ve located a tax professional familiar with your business and who comes highly recommended, it’s time to assess the rest of their offering. Are they available when you need them, or does it take a while to hear back? Does the tax advisor you’ve spoken with have the support of a dedicated team? A certified financial planner, an attorney, and a certified public accountant (CPA) or enrolled agent (EA) are valuable to have as part of the team.
Hiring the right tax advisor and planner will save your business money in the long run, so choose wisely. If you have any questions about your own business, whether you’re looking for advice on deferred compensation plans, income tax preparation, or anything else, be sure to contact us for a free initial financial consultation.