How to Compare Business Tax Services

With today’s complex federal, state and local tax codes, choosing from among available business tax services is a key decision for business owners. To find the right business tax service for you, choose a firm that not only knows the regulations affecting your business but also knows your industry, your geographic area and your business practices.

Price vs. Value

Business tax services that offer the lowest fees aren’t necessarily the best choice for your business. If a small, local business tax service bids low to get your account, it doesn't necessarily follow that they have the resources to deal with your particular business. Without the experience you need, you could be required to do more work in preparation for their completing your business tax returns. They might be slower in filing than a more experienced and more expensive firm.

Price is always a consideration in choosing business tax services. Just make sure you are getting the value you need.

Industry Knowledge

What are some examples of the value businesses should expect of their business tax services? Knowledge of your specific industry is one area. The tax treatment of agricultural businesses are different from the treatment of a retail operation. Some industries receive specific tax breaks. Importing and exporting firms face specific tax regulations.

A business tax service should be able to provide you with examples of firms similar to yours for which it has prepared tax filings.

Geographic Knowledge

Business tax services that provide the value you need will know the specific tax regulations for the areas where you are doing business. Texas has its franchise tax. California has green taxes. And don’t think because you have a small business that this doesn’t affect you. Today, the Internet can make any business a nationwide enterprise. Your business tax service must understand the rules for wherever you are doing business.

Do They Know You?

You won’t always be able to find business tax services that know you and your business. But if you do, it adds to the value of the relationship. Each business has its own method for keeping records and preparing data to turn over to the business tax service. The more the firm knows about how you do business, the less time it takes them to prepare your filings. Business tax services typically charge by the hour. So the more familiar a business tax service is with your business, the fewer hours they’ll be billing.

Finding Resources

Both the Internal Revenue Service and the Small Business Administration offer in-person training and online resources concerning business taxation. The more you know, the better choice you can make.

Check out the reputation of all business tax services you are considering. The easiest place to begin is online by simply entering the name of the firm and its principals in a search engine. Check with the Better Business Bureau as well.

Finally, always ask for references and always check the references out. If the references are for non-competing businesses in your industry, all the better.