Today is January 17th, meaning there are less than three months remaining until tax day (forgive me, but us finance guys treat tax day like a major holiday. Now that I think about it, maybe this is why we don’t ever get invited anywhere).
Anyway, being that I am a finance guy, every tax season, I get asked for tax advice. The advice I give depends on the question and the situation (and if the person ever invited me anywhere), but overwhelmingly, I come back to one basic piece of advice that’s good for almost any business. And here it is: Hire an accountant.
Really, that’s some of the best tax advice any one person can give you. And the reason is really simple: an accountant makes the entire tax process easier, and more importantly, an accountant gets it right.
Now, I mention this more for small business owners than large business owners. Large businesses almost always use accountants & they might even have an accountant on staff (or an entire accounting department.) But many small businesses forgo an accountant, thinking an accountant is an unnecessary expense. Let me assure you it is not, and an accountant knows the current tax laws, what you can and cannot deduct, can help you setup payroll, make estimated tax payments, etc, etc.
A good accountant is invaluable, and will almost always save you more money than his or her fee will be. And an accountant makes sure everything is done correctly (this is beyond invaluable when dealing with the IRS).
One last thing I want to make clear, I am talking about hiring a real accountant. Not a simple tax preparation service. Hire someone who’s there year-round; someone you can call on and ask a question anytime (and not just tax time.) Someone who (for example) has the answers on how your LLC needs to setup tax payments and payroll.
That’s the person you want to hire. And maybe invite out to lunch once.