How to Choose the Right Tax Advisor by Tom Wheelwright

How to Choose the Right Tax Advisor

Not All Tax Advisors Are Created Equal

As much as I love taxes, I have to be honest and tell you that taxes aren’t written in a straight line. They are very confusing. The rules of one section of the law will impact the rules of another section of the law and the connection isn’t always obvious. To make things worse, not only are taxes confusing but then tax laws have many interpretations.

This is why choosing your tax advisor carefully is very important.

Robert Kiyosaki often talks about the importance of your team. His rich dad told him, “business and investing are team sports.” The reason why most people struggle financially today is because they go onto the financial playing field as individuals, not as a team. This couldn’t more true when it comes to hiring the right tax advisor.

The greatest individual performers in the world understand that they are nothing without a team. Take, for example, this quote by Babe Ruth, arguably one of the greatest baseball players in the history of the game: “The way a team plays as a whole determines its success. You may have the greatest bunch of individual stars in the world, but if they don’t play together, the club won’t be worth a dime.”

To be successful in life, you need to have experts that are on your side that you can turn to for advice. Robert says, “Key players for your team include an attorney, a CPA to help with accounting and taxes, an objective and well-vetted broker, various experts in your chosen investment and business areas, mentors, and coaches.”

Interviewing Your Tax Advisor

When you interview your tax advisor there is one key characteristic that I look for—and hope you do too.

Notice if it’s routine for you to ask all the questions of the tax advisor. Or is your tax advisor asking you questions about your situation? If the tax advisor is asking all the questions, you can be sure that he’ll be looking out for you and what you really want. Just remember, if he’s not asking you questions, how can he know your specific situation to save you the most in taxes?

Below are the characteristics of a good tax advisor:

  • Fully educated about the tax law
  • Passionate about reducing your taxes
  • Embraces the law as an opportunity
  • Focuses on permanent tax savings
  • Uses creativity in applying the law in your favor
  • Considers the entire law when reducing taxes, not just a single rule of law
  • Cares more about you than himself or herself
  • Asks you questions about your specific situation
  • Willing to teach you the tax rules

Hire the Right Tax Advisor

Hiring the right tax advisor doesn't just require knowing the right questions to ask, it means knowing what questions your tax advisor should be asking you. Remember, you are the only one who can reduce your taxes. You have to learn enough about how the tax law applies to you so that you can benefit every day. But ultimately, you’ll want to hire a tax advisor who is willing and able to teach you the rules you need to know in order to reduce your taxes.

Also, find a tax advisor that will also prepare your taxes. Don't use a tax preparer who isn’t also your tax advisor. If you do, it can be a huge mistake. You could get great advice from your advisor but the preparer might not know how to use the advice in preparing your tax return.

Lastly, make sure your preparer isn’t just accurate but that they are working to reduce your chances of being audited.

Take the time to look for a good tax advisor to prepare your 2018 taxes. You can learn more about tax planning in my book, Tax-Free Wealth.

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