A business has different seasons just like summer and winter. There is a season when the sales are high, and the profit figures reach its peak. Then there is a season when the business is just doing well enough to break-even. But the one major season that every businessman gets stressed about is the tax filing season. In Canada, businesses have to be prepared with their tax calculations and file them by 30th of April. But planning for your taxes starts months before the actual tax filing season starts. In fact, the reason why you need to save all your documents pertaining to your financial transaction is for filing your taxes appropriately.
A common reason why many businesses fret the tax filing season is that they decide to do tax accounting without the help of a tax accountant. Even if some businesses do hire a tax accountant, they end up hiring an incompetent one that only increases their worry. So for the next tax filing season do not spend half your time worrying about the taxes and find a good tax accountant.
Types of Tax Professionals
Before you start your search to find a good tax accountant, it is essential that you understand the different types of tax professionals who can help you with your business tax filing process.
1. Enrolled Agents
Enrolled agents are people having a fair knowledge about tax filing. These enrolled agents need to pass a set of examination before they can start consulting businesses and people about the taxation process. Enrolled agents do a decent job of handling the taxes. However, these agents have their limitations. An enrolled agent may be able to represent their client during a CRA audit, but they cannot prepare the audit reports.
2. Tax Preparers
Tax preparers are unofficial consultants who assist individuals and businesses with their taxes. These tax preparers are people who have a fair knowledge about taxation, who use it for the limited period of taxation season by helping businesses. They charge a very minimal fee, which makes them a cost-effective choice for some small businesses. Since tax preparers are not officially recognized consultants, they cannot represent you during a CRA audit.
3. Certified Public Accountant
A certified public accountant is an accountant who has done an extensive study in the field of accounting and is a certified accountant that is recognized by the CRA. A certified public accountant provided comprehensive accounting services including tax planning. A CPA can not only help you in your complete tax planning and filing but also represent you during CRA audit and prepare audit reports.
4. Tax Attorneys
Tax attorneys are lawyers who also manage taxes and tax-related cases. These professionals may help their clients in preparing tax returns, but they cannot perform audits. However, tax attorneys have the authorization to represent their clients for both audits and tax-related court hearings.
5. Accounting Faculty
A college professor who has himself acquired a degree in accounting and now teaches accounts instead of practice accounting may also consult people on taxes. They may help people prepare their taxes and can also represent individuals for their tax audits. Accounting faculty may help you with your taxes for a nominal fee.
6. Certified Financial Planner
A certified financial planner can only help their clients in tax planning. They cannot take care of audits for their clients.
How to find Tax Accountants
Though you have various options when it comes to hiring a tax consulting professional, choosing a certified accountant is always advisable as they have the appropriate knowledge to help you with your tax filing. But the question is where can you find good tax accountants? Well, here are some places where you can start your search from:
1. Online Directories
The very first and the most hassle-free method of finding accountants is by looking up online. Google search can find you anything, including tax accountants near you. The very first directory to check is the Google My Business suggestions made by the search engine. You should also check out other local directories such as Yelp. These directories not only help you with the contact details of tax accountants but also user reviews of how their service is. This will help you in making the right choice of selecting a tax consultant for your business.
2. Personal Connections
People you know may help you find a good accountant. You should ask your friends, colleagues and other people in your network for recommendations of good tax accountants they have worked with. They will give you a complete feedback of how their experience was and what problems they experienced when they worked with the tax accountant.
3. Government Accounting References
A certified accounting firm that follows the proper practice of accounting will be enlisted with the government accounting referral website. So if you want to find an accounting firm to take care of your taxes who follow proper regulations, you can search on the CPA Canada website.
Things to Check When Hiring
When you shortlist a handful of tax accountants to choose from, there are a few parameters to check before you decide whom you want to hire. These include: