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WHO WE ARE
With two decades of change in telecommunications and computer technology, small business owners can now effectively run a small business from the very confines of their home. Unfortunately, many business owners find themselves reliant on underutilized financial software or costly and untimely professional services. At SBAS, we have a passion for helping small businesses grow and become more productive. With the rising cost of employee labor and business services, isn't it time to put yourself back in the driver's seat?

— Linda H. Blackburn, CPA
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With the growing threats of identity theft and unscrupulous tax preparers, a business owner should exercise caution when choosing a tax professional. The basic role of a tax professional is to be prepared for changing tax laws in order to navigate a small business owner through the tax planning process. An unqualified or inexperienced tax preparer can overlook legitimate business deductions or tax credits and cause the business owner to incur penalties and interest.

Follow the IRS guidelines when choosing a Tax Professional:
  • Request a consultation with a tax professional to discuss your accounting and tax needs. Be sure to ask the tax preparer how many small business clients they currently serve and how often they meet during the year to discuss the current status of the business. A tax professional who meets once a year to collect information for the preparation of income tax returns may not be looking out for the best interest of the small business owner.

  • Beware of tax preparers who promise large tax refunds or who refuse to sign the prepared tax returns. Beware also of tax prepares who do not request to any financial documents. Any reputable tax professional knows that it is necessary to review receipts or ask questions concerning your expenses for deductibility to avoid penalties and interest in case of an IRS examination. Any tax professional should always be concerned about their credibility, you and your business.

  • Choose a tax professional that is accessible; someone you can contact on an ongoing basis to discuss your business needs. In today's business environment, a business owner cannot afford to wait weeks because an issue comes about during "the crunch session".

  • Find out if the tax professional is required to take continuing education in the areas of taxation, reporting and accounting code of ethics. If possible, contact other small business owners to get a reputable referral.

  • Inquire if the tax professional has a Privacy Disclosure document stating their commitment to keep non-public financial information confidential.
Source: Internal Revenue Service
Copyright  2009 Small Business