What to Know Before Hiring an Income Tax Accountant

What to Know Before Hiring an Income Tax Accountant

Choosing a tax accountant is not easy because there are so many options available. You need someone who understands your business, knows about all the tax laws related to it, and can help you save money on taxes every year. Here are some things you should look for when searching for a good income tax accountant.

Ask Yourself What Type Of Accountant You Need?

Taxpayers can choose from two types of accountants: general and specialised. General accountants deal with all aspects of taxation, while specialised accountants focus on specific areas such as income tax, GST or audit. The latter is usually more expensive because they have more experience and training in the relevant area of law.

Find Out If They Are Qualified?

You’ll want to make sure that the person you hire has the right qualifications and experience for the job, so ask them about their qualifications first (there are no legal requirements for accountants). If they don’t have any formal qualifications but say they’ve been working in the industry for many years, ask them for references from previous clients or companies that hired them for work experience placements.

Are They Licensed?

When looking for an income tax accountant, make sure that they are licensed by the Australian Tax Office (ATO). This shows that they are qualified for the job and can provide high-quality services to their clients. Check out their licenses from the ATO website or call them to confirm if the license is still valid or not.

Do You Need A Registered Tax Agent?

If you are self-employed or run a small business, then it is very likely that you will need the services of a registered tax agent. They will do everything from collecting all the relevant information from you and preparing your business’s tax return to ensuring that it meets all of its obligations under various state and federal laws. There are many different types of businesses out there, so it pays to do research into what type of business would be most suited for your services as well as what type of accounting services they offer.


The services that an income tax accountant can provide for you vary from accountant to accountant. They may be able to help with business tax returns, individual tax returns, trust tax returns and so on. If you are not sure what kind of tax return you need prepared, ask the accountant if they can help. If they cannot help or do not have the experience to prepare your particular type of tax return, they will let you know and refer you to another accountant who can do so.

Payment Methods

The payment method can vary from accountant to accountant. Some accountants might require payment upfront, while others may prefer you to pay after the return has been completed. Some accountants can also offer payment plans for those who find it difficult to pay the full fee at once.

 Any Guarantee?

You should never be expected to pay before you receive a professional service from an accountant. If your accountant wants a large payment upfront, then I would recommend finding another accountant who will work on an hourly basis until you’re satisfied with their work. This way, there is no risk of losing any money if things go wrong with your tax return preparation or audit defence. The last thing you want is for your money to be tied up in an unfinished job!

Ask For All Their Fees Upfront

When choosing an income tax accountant in Australia, it is important that you get a clear idea of how much their services will cost you before signing anything or making any payments to them over the phone or in person. Make sure that they give you their full fee schedule so that there are no surprises later on down the track when it comes time to pay your invoice.

Methodology They Use To Prepare Your Tax Return

The method of preparation is the first thing to consider when choosing an accountant. Do they use a software program, or do they prepare your annual return by hand? Will you receive a computer-generated letter, or will they send you a paper copy? What happens if there is an error with your return? Do they charge extra for amendments and/or corrections? These are all things that need to be considered before selecting an accountant.


Key Takeaways:

Before you hire an income tax accountant, it is important to make sure you choose wisely. Not all tax accountants are created equally, and not all of them will have the knowledge and experience to handle your specific tax needs. That’s why it’s important to locate an accountant who is ‘best-in-class’ within their niche. A knowledgeable partner can help you avoid costly mistakes and save a lot of time in the long run.