10 Questions to Ask Before Hiring a CPA

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a CPA

For many people tax season has officially come to a close. For some, however, tax preparation has to happen all year long. If they don’t stay on top of their taxes they can wind up owing the IRS extra money. To avoid that, you hire a CPA.

What is a CPA?

CPA stands for Certified Public Accountants, which is basically a tax preparer. Only four states in the U.S. require a licensed tax preparer (or CPA) to file your taxes. Those states are California, Maryland, New York and Oregon but you may want to hire a CPA even if you don’t live there. If you feel as though you need professional assistance doing your taxes it is a good idea to prepare some questions to ask before hiring a CPA and move forward with the hiring process.

 

Who Needs a CPA?

Before discovering the questions to ask before hiring a CPA you should be sure you actually need to hire a CPA. Most people can do their taxes themselves but there are a few individuals that may need to hire a CPA, including:

  • Real Estate Investors – Reporting passive income in the wrong way on your taxes could lead to some hefty fines. A CPA can help you avoid that.
  • Investors/Owners of an S Corp – Filing for an S Corp is pretty complicated. Hiring a CPA will ease the process for you.
  • High Income Earners – If you make more than $200K a year you are more likely to get audited. Having a CPA to back you up during an audit can be crucial.
  • Self-Employed Individuals – If you are paid on a 1099 you may want to hire a CPA for tax planning purposes.
  • High Net Worth – People with assets valued at $1 million+ can have trouble filing as well and may require the assistance of a CPA.

If you’re still thinking about hiring a CPA, you’ll want to get a referral from friends or family and then prepare some questions to ask before hiring a CPA. An interview will be important because a poorly trained CPA could ruin your taxes. Here are a few key questions to ask:

Questions to Ask Before Hiring a CPA

  1. Why do I need a CPA?
  2. How long will I normally have to wait for a returned phone call or email?
  3. Do you have clients with similar portfolios to mine?
  4. Why did you choose the last five clients you took?
  5. What is your review process?
  6. What continuing education classes have you taken within the last two years?
  7. What is your turnaround time during tax season?
  8. What support would you offer me during an IRS audit?
  9. If you found mistake on a return you prepared for me, what would you do?
  10. Will we be in contact after tax season?

Hiring a CPA can be stressful but if you ask these 10 questions you should be set. If you are still interested in hiring a CPA, visit this page to read Andrew Argue case studies review

Photo: Mirex Marketing

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