Declaring your income and filing taxes on the same are one of the most important duties for a citizen. However, instead of doing it on your own, it’s best to have a professional examine your income and the taxes you are liable to pay since they would be much better placed to inform you as to how the maximum tax savings can be achieved.
The government has several safeguards in place, through which you can easily get returns on the taxes you pay. However, it is easy to get lost in the huge amount of paperwork that exists on the subject. As a result, it is usually best to rope in an accountant who is familiar with the subject and can ably guide you through the labyrinth of rules and guidelines which determine the paying of taxes.
The most common way for people to hire a tax agent is usually through a recommendation by a friend or a relative who has already availed their services. How to know if your accountant is good is a question that may arise even at a later stage. If you have taken up a friend’s recommendation and ended up with an incompetent accountant, what to do is often the first question that arises.
There may be several signs of a bad accountant, but the most obvious is that they are unable to clearly communicate to you as to what they require, in terms of details from you, regarding your taxable assets and liabilities. Your tax agent is often the person in charge of handling your fiscal responsibility and if you have been having thoughts such as, “how to leave your accountant”, or “how to sack your accountant”, or “how to fire your accountant”, you should probably look into what are the reasons behind this relationship not working.
There are several ways to assess if a certain tax agent is working out for your needs, read on to learn the three most major ones.
They don’t respond:
One of the major complaints that arise from people unhappy with their tax agent is, “my accountant won’t return my calls” or “my accountant is not responding”. These are often the first signs of a bad accountant, since when you hire somebody to carry out your fiscal responsibilities, your first expectation is likely to be that they are around to solve your queries or doubts. Since they are the domain experts, the client would expect them to be around to help out with any concerns that crop up, and when that is not fulfilled, it is natural that you would start wondering onhow to leave your accountant.
They are not proactive:
A proactive tax agent will ask for all the pertinent details on their own and make assessments regarding the steps to be taken. A proactive agent will not wait for you to tell them to get started on the processes, but will already have a checklist ready in terms of the details that they require from you and the steps that they will be required to take.
They can’t be creative:
The primary responsibility of a tax agent is to ensure that even as you remain compliant to tax laws, you are also able to garner the highest savings in terms of the amount you pay in taxes. Professionals who are familiar with the government’s laws on taxation are often able to navigate the same in order to offer the highest savings to their clients. However, if the tax agent just tells you that what you are asking for is impossible or can’t be done in a legal manner, without suggesting an alternative solution, you are likely to start looking for a new accountant.
Even as you realise that your existing accountant isn’t working out for you, and you require somebody new, it is essential to keep a few considerations in mind before you immediately start working with the first accountant you meet.
Examine your requirements:
When you set out to hire a tax agent, it is essential that you first have a concise idea regarding what you require from this tax agent. All professional communication needs to be clear and it is often best if you have a clear idea of your requirements from the outset, even before you approach the tax consultant.
Evaluate their experience and expertise:
Once you have an idea of your requirements, it will help you assess the level of experience and expertise they have in the domain. You can compare their expertise to your requirements, and accurately assess whether they will be able to help you meet your goals.
Inquire on services:
Ensure clear communication from the beginning. Towards this end, ask them about the work that they do and the services they usually provide to clients. This will help you understand the full spectrum of their services, and can also help you decide if you require any assistance or services apart from your pre-determined requirements.
Inquire regarding costs:
It is often best to ask the accountant upfront regarding the cost of their services. This can often negate the need for any unpleasant conversations at a later date regarding the services you have already availed and the fee you are being charged for it.
This is one factor you will have to consider at depth before you enter into a relationship with a new accountant. As professionals, you can together decide upon the hours at which you may communicate, even in cases of emergencies. However, make sure to clearly communicate to the accountant that they need to be dependable in terms of their availability.
Communication is key to all relationships, and it is no different while entering into a contract with an accountant. Your accountant is the person who will ensure that the maximum tax benefits can be availed by you, even while remaining compliant to the law and norms governing taxation. It is best to clearly state your requirements and needs from them before you enter into a contract, in order to ensure minimal hassles at a later stage.