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How to Choose a Tax Advisor

A tax advisor, also referred to as a certified public accountant or an enrolled tax agent, is an accounting specialist who works with the intricate U.S. tax code and uses their expertise to reduce your taxes. There are different types of tax advisors, such as enrolled agents and Certified Public Accountants (CPA).
Tax advisors can come in several types – they ca be enrolled agents, Certified Public Accountants (CPA), etc. No matter the type of tax advisor you need, it’s crucial to choose well.

Identifying Your Needs

Before anything, be clear about your needs and your goals. For example, if you have fairly simple tax situation, you may go with any qualified tax advisor. Otherwise, go for a seasoned professional who knows just what to do.

Assessing Prospects

The last few years has seen a wave of shady, fly-by-night tax preparers, it’s a must that you thoroughly research a prospect’s background before moving forward. Check their credentials and references, and if they don’t deliver on either front, move down your list. As well, take time to find out whether the advisor has any customer complaints filed against them with your local Better Business Bureau.

The Importance of Experience

You will find many newly minted and credentialed tax advisors who are all smart and talented, but an experienced professional is still a big advantage to you. Find someone who has gone toe-to-toe with the IRS or gained expertise in your specific tax needs. There are no actual figures required in terms of years of experience a tax advisor should have, but you should be able to tell if your prospect is experienced enough for your needs by the end of your vetting process.

Tax Advisor and Financial Planner in One Package

Again, getting help with taxes begins with finding the right tax professional. But working with a tax advisor who is also a certified financial planner can give you more balanced results in terms of making your tax situation work with your overall financial situation, including investments, retirement savings, etc.


Depending on your tax needs, you will probably be charged on a sliding scale, which simply means the more you need their help, the higher the fees will be. Most tax advisers charge a lump sum, but others may also be paid hourly, by the number of completed tax returns or by a portion of your assets. In any case, always tax the tax advisor you’re consider before moving forward.

To achieve success in this modern and complicated life, you need experts who will be around each time you need their advice. This includes a tax advisor, but keep in mind that not all of these pros are cut from the same cloth. This is why you need to spend time choosing the right one for you.

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