Tips for Hiring a Tax Advisor for Your Firm

According to George Atalla, EY’s Global Government & Public Sector Leaderyoung entrepreneurs are willing to comply with tax rules, but often are overwhelmed by the onerous requirements. Tax advisors can help to lay off the tax burden and ensure that you remain compliant with the regulations. They can also help you to optimize your tax strategy, file business tax returns on time and provide strategic insight for your business.

But how do you zero-in on a tax advisor who can give you these benefits?

Here are tips to help you to hire a suitable tax advisor for your firm.


Consider Education and experience a plus

For starters, check out the tax advisor’s education and experience. It can make a huge difference in how they perceive your business and what benefits you can expect. For example, the best tax advisors have a wide variety of educational experiences, cutting across different fields. Some could be educated in fields a far off, like engineering and law.

On the other hand, their experiences should also display diversity and depth. Tax advisors experienced in diverse business fields such as business modelling will provide advisory services that can take you to the next level. Tax advisors, who have experiences with the IRD are a definite plus. They know how to handle IRD protocols, and can give you invaluable advice when faced with IRD queries.


Look for the reputation of not-cutting corners

As you look through different advisors’ profiles, don’t be afraid to look into the history of a tax advisor. Ask for references and check out some of their previous clients.

Does the tax advisor have a reputation for cutting corners?

It may sound smart, or even sexy. But you’ll be setting yourself up for trouble if you decide to work with an advisor who has a reputation for cutting corners.

Don’t compromise on this one. Work with advisors who have impeccable integrity. One tell-tell sign could be in their work history. An advisor, who has worked with the IRD and has a faultless background could be a good place to start.

An Advisor who thinks out of the box

Sometimes bookkeepers and tax advisors are considered to be “boring.” This is because many think in a ‘straight line’. Few find creative (and legal) ways to help their clients optimize tax planning and maximise savings.

Unsophisticated tax advisors will simply run through your business taxes year-in and year-out without any real financial benefit. But, advisors who think outside the box will not only help you to optimise tax planning. They will help to generate, maintain and optimise wealth through business and investment.


Look for a tax advisor who’s unafraid to ask questions

When you interview a tax advisor consider how many questions they have asked you. If you’ve been the one asking all the questions, it’s a red flag.

Focus on the tax advisors who are inquisitive about the business. Advisors who will not only ask about sensitive areas such as compliance, ownership structures but go deeper into sensitive issues such as how you handle migrant workers. Such probing gives a better understanding of the business and enables pragmatic planning.

A thorough diagnosis of your business taxes by a qualified and experienced tax advisor is essential for making significant tax savings.


An advisor who’s willing to go an extra mile for you 

Tax advisors who possess the above qualities often establish deep and fruitful relationships with their clients. They easily go out of their way to help clients succeed in their lines of business. A case in point is Gilligan Sheppard. According to Richard Ashby, a senior partner at the firm, they have established a special section of the company’s website dedicated to helping entrepreneurs through the COVID-19 crisis. The company has prepared a number of Zoom panel advice sessions covering a number of Covid-19 related issues such as the new tax relief measures, corporate insolvency, tenant/landlord lease implications and the 2020 Budget as well as workplace psychology themes.

Here’s the bottom line, a great tax advisor knows how tax laws uniquely apply to your business. They will ask questions, creatively help you to find ways to save business taxes and go the extra mile to help you succeed.

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