Taxes and Accounting: 6 Crucial Questions to Ask When Hiring a Tax Accountant

As tax season approaches, you may be getting overwhelmed with all the preparation that goes into filing your taxes. You want to get the most back when you file your taxes and if you have a lot to do, hiring a tax accountant may be your best bet. 

Tax accountants do great jobs at handling the taxes and accounting to ensure we get as much back as possible every year, so it’s important to choose a good one. 

If you’re looking for a new tax accountant and aren’t sure where to start, check out these 6 crucial questions you need to ask. 

1. Are You a Registered Tax Agent? What Are Your Credentials?

Anywhere you choose to file taxes in Australia will require your tax preparer to be a Registered Tax Agent if you are paying compensation.

Registered Tax Agents have completed an exam and are approved by the Tax Practitioners Board. They also usually have at least a University degree in accounting and several required courses under their belt. It is illegal for a tax preparer to receive compensation for filing your taxes for you and not also be registered with the TPB.

If your potential tax preparer is claiming to work for extremely low rates and cannot provide you with their TPB certification, you’re better off finding a more reputable tax preparer with the proper certifications. Take a look at our website for the services we offer and why our services are guaranteed!

2. Are You Qualified for My Specific Industry or Needs?

Many tax accountants in Australia specialize in a specific type of accounting. This helps them learn the ins and outs of filing taxes for these particular industries. If you’re filing taxes for your construction business with 100+ employees, this is going to look a whole lot different than a family of 5 filing with a personal CPA.

Choosing the right tax preparer involves asking what kind of taxes they have experience filing. It also doesn’t hurt to ask which ones are the hardest returns to file or what challenges they see arising in your particular instance. The honesty and experience will be clear when they’re truly qualified.

3. Can You Provide Me With Client References?

Any person or company providing a service should be able to provide client references. What are client references? They are a group of people that have had a service completed by the person, or in this case, the tax preparer that you are looking to hire. 

Your personal finances and your taxes are extremely sensitive information. Trust them with the right people by ensuring that the people who are preparing them would be recommended again by others who have already had services performed by them. Keep the questions short and sweet by asking if they would use them again.

Still not sure what to think? Check out online reviews or testimonials and always trust your gut. If something seems fishy, ask about it or go with a different preparer.

4. How Long Will It Take You to Complete My Taxes? When Can I Expect Them to Be Filed?

While you have quite a while to file taxes, it’s always better to file sooner rather than later. Tax season is undoubtedly a busy time for all tax preparers, regardless of their title. Keep your tax preparer accountable by establishing a time frame in writing that you can expect your taxes to be finished. 

Depending on the complexity of your business’ tax preparation, personal finances, or both, your Registered Tax Agent should be transparent and give you an approximation of how long it should take them to complete your service. 

5. May I Have A Copy of Your Privacy Policy? Do You Outsource Work?

As stated, your tax information is extremely sensitive information. Don’t entrust it to the wrong people. Ask for a copy of their privacy policies and read them thoroughly. Present any questions you may have and don’t be afraid to be blunt about any concerns you see in the information they provide you with. 

You should also ask if any of their work is outsourced or if it’s all done in-house. While this isn’t a bad thing, you should know where your information is being shared and who it’s being shared with. 

6. What Are Your Fees? How Do You Collect Compensation?

An important, albeit obvious, question is the following: What are their fees? Ask about all fees involved in the tax preparation and how they collect them. Do they require them upfront or after the service, or will they deduct them from your tax return? 

Having questions answered about how they receive their compensation not only gives you insight into how they run their business but also how legitimate they are. It’s also important to ask about additional fees and get a quote in writing for what you will owe. If you don’t receive anything in writing, then you have no proof that those were the agreed-upon charges. 

AY Accounting never charges you hidden fees, so you always know upfront what to expect from us.

Leave Taxes and Accounting to Your Tax Preparer

Taxes and accounting is a tricky business, with a lot of legal jargon, numbers, and accounting specifics. Leave this to the professionals and have your taxes filed by a reputable Australian Registered Tax Agent.

AY Professionals Tax and Accounting services specialize in three key areas of accounting management: Tax Planning, Tax Returns & Compliance, and Outsourced CFO & Accounting. You can maximise your refund with a company that has almost two decades of experience helping out people like you and businesses like yours. 

For more information, check out our website or contact us for details about how we can help you save the most this tax season!

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