For most people the question of tax is high on the list of considerations when they are looking for an accountant for their business. Other things are important too, such as the quality of the business planning advice you might receive, or the ability of the accountant to prepare reports that you can use to grow and improve your business. You also need your returns to the Revenue prepared and filed on time, but tax remains a crucial part of the equation.
Is your business following all the regulations and rules that apply to your industry? Is your business optimised for tax? Are you paying too much – or too little? What more can you do to legally and legitimately limit your tax liabilities?
These are all questions that a specialist tax accountant will be able to help you with. Of course dealing with tax is part of every qualified accountant’s job in some way, but that doesn’t mean all accountants are the same.
So if you’re concerned about tax, or think your business could be more tax efficient, here are some things you should think about when you are looking for a tax accountant.
Tax Experience And Reputation
Question how much experience your accountant has in dealing with tax matters. This will give you an indication of their skills and abilities in the field, but reputation is much more important. How many other businesses use the accountant? Do you know anyone who has used them? What was their experience in terms of tax?
It is also important that your accountant understands the specific tax requirements of your industry, as not all businesses are the same. Take the construction industry as an example. Businesses involved in that industry usually have to deal with issues related to contract workers. The way an accountant deals with tax in this sort of business is different to the way tax would be dealt with in other businesses.
Ask your accountant about the direct experience they have in your industry. Ideally they should have worked with businesses that are similar to yours.
You should also find out about the approach of the accountant to see if it fits your business needs. Obviously this includes costs and the way that fees are applied, but there are also other things you should consider.
One of those is the accountant’s approach to saving you money on tax. Some will adopt a conservative approach when preparing your accounts, while others will seek to save as much as possible. You should discuss this with your accountant to ensure they understand how you want your tax situation handled.
Availability and communication are also important issues. What level of communication do you think will be required to effectively plan for tax? Will your accountant be proactive throughout the year, or do they just look at your accounts periodically – usually when it is time to make your tax return or file your accounts?
The requirements and expectations of you and your business will be different to others so there is no one-size-fits-all answer. The important thing is to ask the questions when you are looking for an accountant, so that you get the right one for your business.
If you would like to speak to a tax accountant or get more information on tax matters you can contact one of the tax experts at Gilroy Gannon. Give us a call today.