For the next few months, you will be seeing tax preparation cubicles in the malls and department stores around Danbury. At one time, you may have been tempted to gather your receipts and W-2s and sit down in one of those booths to complete and file your tax return. However, you are a business owner now, and your tax preparation may be far too complex for someone whose qualifications you may not know.
Like working with any other professional, it is important to have a relationship with your tax consultant that is comfortable and trustworthy. After all, when it comes to the IRS, you are the one who pays the consequences if something goes wrong.
Qualities to look for in a tax professional
You can't get along with everyone, and there are bound to be personality clashes with other professionals with whom you do business. Nevertheless, you can weigh the fruitfulness of your relationship with your tax professional by his or her actions, which are evidence of the following qualities:
- Knowledgeable: Tax laws change every year, and even a slight variation can affect your return. A professional who is unaware of those changes may cost you money or leave you fighting the IRS.
- Willing to help you learn: Does your professional answer your questions about your taxes or about the law? Does he or she review your returns with you to ensure you understand them and can respond to inquiries from the IRS? Is your consultant helping your business succeed?
- Cooperative: A professional who will not work with your financial team or refuses to cooperate with IRS requests or compliance issues can be dangerous. The IRS may send you correspondence through your tax professional, but if you never receive those notices, you risk penalties.
- Secure: The protection of your private information is essential, and your tax preparer has access to the most sensitive data about you. If he or she fails to secure both the digital and hard copies of your tax information, you may be vulnerable to identity theft that would wipe out your finances and damage your business.
- Trustworthy: A preparer who refuses to sign a tax return he or she has prepared or who tells you to sign as if you prepared it yourself should be a red flag. On the other hand, if your preparer is not willing to take the basic steps of looking at your 1120 or other forms to verify your profits, he or she may be cutting corners in other areas, too, and that may lead to big trouble for you.
If you are facing issues with the IRS because of the negligence or mistakes of your business' tax professional, you may benefit from seeking the advice of an attorney who has years of experience helping others in Connecticut resolve their tax issues.