Most business owners don’t enjoy filing taxes. Preparing and filing tax returns can be tedious and stressful, especially for an e-commerce business that may conduct business in other states. This is one good reason to hire an e-commerce tax pro. When it comes to filing tax returns for an e-commerce business, there is no one who can do it better than an e-commerce tax pro.
What to Look for in Selecting a Tax Professional?
When hiring an e-commerce tax pro it is to make sure they have the right training, background, and license. First make sure they have a PTIN (preparer tax identification number). Any professional tax preparer must have a PTIN before they can file a federal tax return for compensation. Next you will want to make sure they have the proper credentials. There are a lot of abbreviations that can be confusing and misleading. Here are some to familiarize yourself with:
CFP – Certified Financial Planners must meet certain education requirements, pass an exam, have a certain amount of experience, and also must pass fitness standards. Tax preparation may be in their training, but not necessarily the focus of their business.
CPA – Certified Public Accountants are certified by the State to act as a public accountant. They have to pass an exam as well as an ethics exam. They are also required to undergo continued education and training. There are several areas a CPA may specialize including: accounting, auditing, and financial planning. Be sure to ask the area in which they specialize as you do not want an accounting-focused CPA to handle your taxes.
EA – Enrolled Agents have to pass a 3 part tax-specific test administered by the IRS or are former IRS employees. This is the highest credential awarded by the IRS and Enrolled Agents are qualified to represent taxpayers before the IRS for all tax matters.
VITA – Volunteer Income Tax Assistants are volunteers who are trained by the IRS to prepare basic tax returns.
JD and LL..M – are law degrees. These professionals may not actually file tax returns, but can assist with compliance laws and tax planning.
Hire The Right Tax Professional That Fits Your Business
When hiring an e-commerce tax prof it is important to make sure that they are a right fit for your business. Since tax laws and regulations can vary from state to state and locality to locality, working with a tax professional who is proficient is the state and local tax laws is a must for an e-commerce business. Tax professionals who specialize in state and local taxes are known as SALT accountants.
E-Commerce Tax Business Questions To Ask
Asking questions up front is a good way to prevent unnecessary confusion. Here are some questions you may want to ask :
- What documents do you need from me?
- What valuation process do you use?
- Will my return be filed electronically?
- When will I get copies of my returns?
- How do you determine your fee? Is there an extra fee per state?
Hiring the right e-commerce tax pro can make a huge difference when it comes to filing your tax returns. It takes part of the stress of filing your taxes off your shoulders. Working with a professional tax preparer can help insure that your taxes will be filed correctly and on time! Questions or concerns? To hear about how our team of CPAs and EAs works with clients, contact Tax Hack today!