Corporate tax preparation is best left to professional accountants who have specific knowledge and information on tax laws. However, choosing the right tax preparer can be daunting. When selecting a tax preparer, a person should focus on the individual’s tax knowledge and experience, credentials, professionalism, and terms of service. Business owners or managers should always ask questions to learn about accountants and be willing to shop around to find the best accountant for tax preparation.
Accountants will often have a wide background in technical financial services. However, accountants should specialize in corporate taxes. This ensures they only study one issue and remain up to date on current tax laws. In addition, they should offer corporate tax planning services and can help represent their clients in case of a tax audit. While tax accountants are not lawyers and do not offer legal advice, they may know a lawyer who can help solve situations resulting from third-party corporate tax preparation.
Along with this technical accounting background, individuals in the corporate tax preparation field should have some type of professional credentials. The most common and internationally renowned credential is the certified public accountant license. This certification requires accountants to study tax issues and pass one section of an overall exam on this issue. It also requires continuing professional education, ensuring tax accountants are aware of current issues in corporate taxation.
Tax accountants should have a history of accuracy when working in corporate tax preparation. When interviewing potential tax accountants, a person should inquire about the preparer's accuracy record. Inaccurate taxes can earn companies a bad reputation with tax agencies; having too many issues in a certain number of years can result in automatic audit triggers placed on the company’s tax account. If issues do occur, tax accountants should have high levels of professionalism. This helps the company have positive representation with tax auditors and understand how the process works.
Professional accountants in corporate tax preparation work for their business clients. This means that owners and managers should be able to reach the accountant in a reasonable amount of time and receive prompt responses. While the accountant may charge for these types of consultations, it is often beneficial to have this ability for corporate tax questions. Tax accountants should also have convenient office hours or other times to offer consulting services to business clients. Access to lower staff members who work on the corporate tax return may also be necessary, as business owners and managers may desire information from them on the company’s tax return.