Dealing with your taxes can be a complicated and stressful process, especially if you have multiple income streams or don’t receive a regular paycheck. Going it alone leaves you open to a whole host of issues if you make a mistake, and for most people, it just isn’t worth it.

Unless your taxes are utterly straightforward, finding an accountant is the logical choice, especially considering the fact that you can claim back the cost of engaging their services. With that in mind, we’ve put together this list of tips for finding the best tax accountant to meet your needs.

Ask Around First

This may seem like an odd tip as it’s what most people would do anyway, but the reason we’ve included it is because this is also where most people end their search. Notice how we say “ask around first.” Never just ask your friends or Google it.

After searching for “tax accountant near me” and having some conversations with trusted friends and family members, take note of the results that come up, and then apply the tips below to work out who will be most beneficial to you.

Check the Reviews

The next crucial step is to check the reviews of your shortlist of accountants. Just because someone you know has had a positive experience with an agency doesn’t mean that everyone will have, so it’s important to see varied opinions before making your decision.

You’re going to want to look for at least three stars, but be wary of businesses that have absolutely perfect scores. While this may mean that they’re thoroughly excellent, it could also mean that they censor negative commentary. Remember to take everything you read with a proverbial grain of salt. Do not base your decision solely on the reviews you read as other factors are also important.

Find Out the Fees

Now that you’ve got a better idea of which tax accountants could be a good option for you, it’s time to find out what their fees are. While we understand the importance of sticking to a budget, the cheapest option is not necessarily the best. It’s worth spending a little more on getting your tax return done if it means you’ll get a better result. We suggest that in the future, you consider putting money aside each week (if you do not do so already) to ensure you have funds ready at the end of the next financial year to cover your costs.

Ask Whether They Will Work With Your Other Providers

This one is more for sole traders or those who have a self-managed super fund or retirement account. If you have a general accountant or investment consultant who deals with other aspects of your life, this is also an important question.

If you already engage the services of other finance professionals, say for example an SMSF accountant who takes care of your retirement account, this could lead to double handling and paying more than is truly necessary.

If your tax accountant simply wants to check the figures that others have provided, this should be fine as it shows they’re dedicated to accuracy, but if they want to crunch the numbers entirely from scratch, it’s worth checking how much this will cost and evaluating whether it is worth it.

Armed with this information it should be a lot easier for you to select the best tax accountant near you. We trust you’ll get a great result.