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How to Pick a CPA: Tips for Individual Taxpayers

Whether you are a first-time taxpayer or an experienced one, choosing a qualified CPA can be a daunting task. Many people assume that any accountant with an active license can handle their taxes, but choosing the right CPA is essential to ensure accuracy and maximize tax savings. Are you looking for some tips on how to pick a CPA that is right for you? Look no further! In this blog post, we will provide some valuable insights that can help you make an informed decision.


Look for a CPA with expertise in your specific needs


Before hiring a CPA, make sure they have expertise in the areas where you need help. CPAs usually specialize in different areas such as individual taxation, business taxation, audit & assurance, financial planning, and more. So, if you are an individual taxpayer, look for a CPA who specializes in individual taxation. You can't expect to receive the best advice for your specific tax concerns from a CPA who has never worked on individual tax returns.


Check their qualifications


In addition to expertise, you should also look for a CPA who has the necessary qualifications to best serve your needs. CPAs are required to have an active license and complete continuing education courses to keep up with the latest tax laws and regulations. You can check their qualification and license details on the State Board of Accountancy’s website. Don’t hesitate to ask for their credentials and references as well.


Consider their experience


Experience is key when it comes to finding a qualified CPA. Look for a CPA who has experience working with taxpayers with circumstances similar to yours. For example, if you are a small business owner, find a CPA with experience in handling taxation of small businesses. They can provide tailored advice to give you the best possible outcome.


Ensure they are available throughout the year


Your tax concerns may not be limited to the January to April tax season. Make sure your CPA is available throughout the year to help address queries, give planning advice, and make any adjustments to estimated tax payments. CPA availability varies greatly, so ask about their hours of operation and their contact policy.


Look for a rapport


Lastly, and most importantly, you should feel comfortable with your CPA. Tax issues can be sensitive and personal, and you need to be able to discuss them openly with your CPA. Pay attention to the personality and communication style of the CPA. Make sure that you look for someone who explains everything to you in a way that makes sense to you. A CPA who is absolutely brilliant but unable to communicate in a manner that makes you feel most comfortable, isn't doing you any favors.


Conclusion:


Choosing the right CPA can have a significant impact on your financial success. By looking for expertise in your specific needs, checking their qualifications, considering their experience, ensuring they are available year-round, and developing a rapport, you can find a CPA who can help you achieve your financial goals. We hope these tips will help you make an informed decision when selecting a CPA.


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