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Questions You Should Ask before Hiring a Tax Accountant

Questions You Should Ask before Hiring a Tax Accountant

A business accountant is an essential must have in this business day and age. If you are a small business owner, having an accountant or not having one could make or break your business. I say this because, without having a clear understanding or knowledge of your financial development, how do you know if your business is actually growing, or your investment is worth investing in? Not only that, accounts have a variety of jobs in the finance world. Accountants, such as a Tax Accountant or Forensic Accountant are very crucial accountants for any business. But in this article, we will focus more on tax accountants.

There are many reasons to want to have a personal tax accountant to help you with your business. One reason for starters, a tax accountant will file your taxes, giving you time to do other precious work that needs to be done. Tax accountants also provide your business less stress, because you don’t have to worry about the IRS hitting you with a costly penalty for misfiling your taxes (that is if your tax accountant did their job correctly). Tax accountants will also help prepare you for any audits that might come up.

So, do you want to hire a tax accountant? Here are some questions to ask your potentially new employed Tax Accountant:

Questions to Ask When Hiring a New Tax Accountant

What Experience Have You Had in the Field?

This is an important question, because it shows the level of intricate knowledge he has with the best general practice in tax accounting. If he has experience in the field, he will obviously be more reliable than a person who is just getting their feet wet in tax accounting.

This specific accountant might have started off as a different type of an accountant. But if he has had relevant experiences in the field that meet your company’s goals, then you might have found your new tax accountant. Better yet, if he has had tax accounting experience in your own specific field and industry, then that’s a plus. It would be nice to know what kind of clients they have had. Perhaps the work they did for their clients meets the industry knowledge they should have for your business too.

How Often Do You Think You Can Get My Work Done?

When hiring anyone for any position, assessing their level of skills and capability to do the work is essential for any new employee. So, one question to ask your new candidates is how quickly they think they can get the work done (without decreasing quality in the work). An honest answer to the question should provide the candidate brownie points for their honesty.

Who Will Do What Work?

Understanding who does the work is also very important. There are plenty of tax accounts who decide to outsource some of their work to a third party. This doesn’t mean that their work is less noticeable or the work will be diminished, but at times, when asking your tax accountant about certain steps they took, it could be hard for you to get an answer from them in a timely fashion. So, when you hire or invest into a tax accountant, it will be to your benefit to know whom and where they will outsource their work if they choose to do so. This will help save you time in getting information you need about the tax accounting process.

It’s not bad practice for your tax accountant to hire outsourced workers to do their jobs better. But again, to save you time and effort, it’s better to know who to talk to, in order to get the tax accounting data you need.

Who Are You, and What Will You Bring to This Company?

There are plenty of accountants out their looking for your business. They would love to be hired by you, because you can help provide these accountants food on the table for them, and perhaps event their families, so it’s obvious to believe these accountants want your money in exchange for their services. But! How do you know which accountant fits your business entirely?

Sure, being a tax accountant who has done work for clients like yourself, who are in the same industry as you are is a plus. But! Do they see things the same way you do too and are they understanding of where your business stands in its profession? Do they understand the business mentality and culture? Will they be able to see things the same way as you do, the business owner or manager? Does the tax accountant understand and fit well within your business environment and culture? Can this tax accountant grow with you, or perhaps help lead you in better growth?

What I am trying to say is, you should assess the tax accountant as a person, and question if his character fits well in your company. This will lead to the next question to ask before hiring your tax accountant, what kind of accountant are they? What kind of tax accounting do they follow? Are they a more aggressive or conservative Tax accountant? Will they be able to flip flop, depending on the situation?

Aggressive or Conservative Tax Accounting Principles?

It’s important to know how your accountant practices their accounting. An accountant is not just a person with the ability to count and work with numbers, but an accountant is a human being, who should be able to express what these numbers means and to give quality advice to their employers on financial situations after calculating the numbers. So, depending on his personal stance of how to practice good tax accounting, it will be left to the employer to make the final decision whether to hire the candidate or not.

A more aggressive accountant wants to probably write off everything they can, while other accountants will take to a more conservative approach. If introduced with two possible solutions for an uncertain accounting problem, they would tend to select the worst case scenario solution in order to keep the business on guard for unforeseen circumstances.

Being able to balance between an aggressive and conservative approach is ideal for accounting, but timing is almost the most essential aspect on whether or not to be aggressive or conservative. If experienced, this accountant should be able to determine (with the data viewed and acquired) when it will be a good time to stay aggressive or conservative in a tax accounting manner.

Each scenario can be different, depending on time, a company may have a more aggressive approach in achieving their goals, while at other times, a company may plan to do cutbacks and stay passive in their expenditures, and so on.

Asking these questions will help you find a suitable employee for your tax accoutering position.

New York State & Local Tax Audit Defense

New York State & Local Tax Audit Defense

Have you ever wondered why people become lawyers? Some people say it’s for the money. Others say it’s for the greater good of mankind, to uphold justice. Personally, I think people become lawyers, because people need lawyers. Rebutting a case, whether you are the plaintiff or the defendant, isn’t an easy task for any person that is green in the courtroom. Knowing the game of the courtroom is the only way to play it. You can’t suspect something can benefit you, unless the whole courtroom agrees by the federal or state law that your standards are allowed in the court of law. (more…)

How Small Business Owners Can Save on Taxes

How Small Business Owners Can Save on Taxes

Albert Einstein once said “the hardest thing to understand in the world is the income tax.” Personal taxes can be confusing enough; but as a small business owner having to file taxes as a business on top of that can become overwhelming. However, it doesn’t have to be this way. As a small business owner there are several easy ways that you can save some money on your taxes. (more…)

3 Reasons why you should invest in a 401k plan

3 Reasons why you should invest in a 401k plan

A 401k is one of the most commonly known retirement plans, being utilized by thousands of people and their respective companies each day. Under this plan employees can make voluntary contributions towards their retirements that are usually matched by their employers for use after they have stopped working. After the employee decides how much money they would like to set aside each pay period, that amount is automatically deducted from every paycheck before taxation, making it tax deferred until it is time for withdrawal. Despite it being a highly popular way to invest in one’s future, there are still some that are skeptical about implementing it into their budget and finances. As a leading accounting firm we at Nazaire & Co. would like to provide you with 3 great reasons why you should invest in your 401k.

Number One: It doesn’t hurt as much as you think it would

You’d be surprised how painless putting money toward something is when you don’t have to physically do anything. Like state and federal taxes, money for your 401k is automatically deducted from your paycheck, meaning you’re not required to take action or meet a specific deadline. Your pockets may seem light at first but as you work your 401k deductions into your weekly and monthly budgets, you’ll notice just how easy investing in your retirement is. Also keep in mind that most times your employer is matching the same amount that you’re putting up, easing the feeling that you’re doing it all by yourself.

Number Two: Social Security won’t be around forever

Social security is slowly being to fade and who knows where it will be in the next 35 to 40 years? Where it was once possible to comfortably live off social security post-retirement, many people find themselves going back to work simply because it is no longer enough to survive. Chances are you will need more than just a social security check to live out your golden years in peace, and that’s where a 401k comes in handy. Properly investing in a 401k plan can potentially provide you with 70 to 90 percent of your post-retirement income, allowing you to retire without ever having to work another day again.

Number Three: 401k plans make for great tax deductions

Not only do 401k plans allow you to save for the future but also in the moment as well. A 401k is 100% tax deductible, meaning that the money accrued is not counted towards your gross income, keeping you out of higher tax brackets. Another great thing about 401k plans is that your money grows tax deferred, contrary to savings and brokerage accounts that have to be reported at the end of the year. This allows your money to increase at a faster rate, with you only being taxed after the money has been withdrawn. Side note: some 401k plans enable you to withdraw money early in case of emergencies like hardship or loans.

Bonus: You can move your 401k into an IRA at any time.

Thinking about leaving your job but want to hold on to your savings? A 401k allows you transfer your current savings into an IRA (Independent savings account) while keeping them tax deferred.

In the end

401k plans were established as a way to help you effectively plan for your future. They help provide security and assurance that you will be taken care of when it’s time for retirement. If you’re curious about how to set up a 401k or other retirement plans that can serve as an alternative, feel free to contact us at (516) 717-1440.  Also don’t forget to check out our other tips, tricks, and articles on financial success at nazaire.com/blog

Save more, Pay less

Save more, Pay less

When it comes to paying your taxes, chances are you are probably overpaying or there are options that you have not explored in order to pay less. Here are a few ways to significantly reduce your taxes.

Charitable Giving

Charitable giving is a great way to receive a significant tax deduction. This can include:

1. Using your automobile to provide services for a charitable organization
2. Donating appreciated property
3. Sponsoring a student that lives in your home (exchange student)
4. Providing food, lodging, and clothing for a disaster relief organization

Taking care of family

While child support is not deductible, alimony is. You can also see a tax deduction if you incur medical expenses of a parent for whom you provide over 50% of support.

Home improvements

Any home improvements made for medical reasons (elevators, spas, swimming pools, etc.) make you eligible for a tax deduction.

Save money on the job

Did you know you can even save money just for working? Receive tax deductions for employment agency fees, job-related moving expenses, job skill improvement classes, and even child care cost while you work and attend school.

Don’t forget your details

When going over your expenses with your accountant be sure to include all the details as they would know of where to find you tax deductions. Establishing a strong relationship with your accountant is key to achieving the lowest bill possible.