The services of a CPA are invaluable. Not only can they get you bigger tax returns and save you time and hassle, but they can also keep you out of hot water with the IRS and the state tax department. Many tax filers see CPA fees as an investment, since in the end, a CPAs services may pay for themselves. Nevertheless, you can get even more from your relationship with a CPA by being prepared and being a good client. Follow these money saving tips when hiring a CPA.Come Prepared
CPAs often based their fees on an hourly rate and a “hassle factor.” If you show up to your first meeting with a box full of loose papers and no idea how much you even made that year, it’s going to take considerable time and effort to even get to the beginning. You can save you and your CPA hours of hassle by getting your records in order before you meet, which translates into a lower overall cost for his or her services.
Get in Touch Early
Things get crazy for tax professionals come March and April. Of course, all CPAs will do their due diligence with every return, but if you want extra attention and a less harried pace, don’t get in touch right in the middle of crunch time. Instead, pick up the phone around mid-February so nobody feels rushed.
Rush Accounts Aren’t Ideal
You may think that CPAs prefer doing rush jobs because they get to tack on a premium for getting the job done quick. But in reality, most CPAs would rather take their time with your account to make sure everything is in order and may even refer you to another accountant rather than taking you on last minute.
Don’t Hesitate to Get an Extension
Instead of paying the rush fee, you might be better off filing an extension. Contrary to popular belief, filing an extension doesn’t necessarily flag you for an audit. In fact, by taking more time to go over your records and make sure everything is in order, you actually decrease your chances of getting audited.
As with any professional, being a good client means you get better value from the relationship. Follow these tips and you’ll pay less in fees and get more benefits from your CPA.
John Huddleston Seattle CPA