When you’re a property investor, it’s common to work with a number of experts during the time you hold your investment.
It’s likely that one of these will be an Accountant.
While hiring a Tax Accountant comes with a fee, this is often a small price to pay when you think about the unforeseen and hefty taxes they may help you avoid and the strategies they can put in place to help you get the most from your investment.
While there are a lot of Accountants out there, you should do some preliminary groundwork to ensure you choose the right one for you.
Firstly, check they have expertise in the areas relevant to you. Your Accountant should have a good deal of experience working with other clients in the same or a similar situation to yours. This means that the Accountant has worked on complex situations before and has already been exposed to a broader set of issues relevant to your situation.
You should also know the number of years the Accountant has been in the field. Ideally, you’ll want them to have at least five years of experience doing individual tax returns.
It is also better if your Accountant has a certified public accountant license, even if it isn’t necessarily required. There are many Accountants who do tax work even without special training in tax, so it is preferable that you choose one with more advanced training.
Experience is good but a formal education is better as this may offer a broad perspective in individual, partnership, corporate and fiduciary tax.
You should also make sure that your Accountant will stand by the tax return he or she prepares for you and represent you in case of an audit.
With this, the Accountant should review your past tax returns at no extra charge. This only takes a few minutes and it will demonstrate his or her willingness to serve you.
An Accountant typically charges by the hour and the rate varies by location and seniority.
To help lower your fees, make sure you come to any meetings organised so you spend less time with your Accountant. Use a spreadsheet or a QuickBooks file to easily show him or her your income, expenses and other relevant information.
You should also pay attention to their personality and the gut feeling you get from them upon your preliminary meeting. It’s important that you feel comfortable with your Accountant as you will have to ask plenty of questions and share what is often personal information with him or her over time.
Finally, have a think about location. While some investors may prefer their Accountant to be based locally, this is not a necessity anymore as you can send your documents easily via email or Dropbox. Nevertheless, if face-to-face meetings are important to you, be sure to research the location of your prospective Accountant and get an idea of what hours they are generally available to meet.
Chan & Naylor Group has nationwide offices in Brisbane and Capalaba in Queensland, Melbourne and Moonee Ponds in Victoria, East Perth in Western Australia, and South West Sydney, Parramatta, Pymble, North Sydney, and Sydney in New South Wales.