Taxes: How to Find a Tax Advisor That's Right For You

(I paid a little more than this... let's be real)

(I paid a little more than this... let's be real)

They say the only sure things in life are death and taxes. I’m pretty sure a piece of my soul died when I finished this year’s tax season.

This was in part because I hired a tax advisor that was not a good fit for me or for my business.

I’m not sure if this was you, too. But if so, do you feel me?

Hiring the right tax advisor is the difference between you taking a beach vacation in April or stressing about paying the IRS unplanned sums of hard earned money! I want you to be on the beaches of Maui, friends.

But how do you know if a tax advisor is right for you? Here are 5 key questions to ask potential candidates:

  1. Who is your ideal client? (The answer will subtly tell you if you’re a good fit)

  2. What types of clients do you currently work with? (You will learn who they *really* work with, if this does not match with #1, keep looking)

  3. What is your process and overall approach with taxes? (Look for a clearly articulated answer that is as clear as a bell. If you don’t understand their approach or have to ask too many questions, look elsewhere. Look for a highly organized process, what exactly needs to happen + when - both on your end and theirs, bonus points if they can supply a tax preparation checklist)

  4. How is the new tax reform likely to affect someone in my position? (This is a communication test to see how they break down complex information into simple pieces. Again, is their response in everyday terms that you can easily apply to your life? If they use tax jargon and cannot articulate in a way you can easily interpret, this is a sure sign of communication issues in the future. They may not know enough about you yet to give you a super detailed response, that's ok.)

  5. What is the *total* amount I can expect to pay you for 2018 tax preparation + any consulting/other services that will be needed? (Ideally you should already know this as part of question #3... BUT if not, make sure you ask.)

Start now. Interview, interview, interview. Prepare, prepare, prepare. These are my mistakes and as a result… well, here I am, writing a 2017 tax lessons blog post.

With a little preparation and research, may your 2018 tax season be in your favor, friends. And most importantly, may you be drinking your mai tai on the beach!

I'd love to hear from you. What have you learned about taxes over the years? Insert in the comments below!

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