Our goal whether we are preparing taxes for an individual or a corporation is to do the best job possible. In our mind what constitutes the best job is not merely to minimize the tax liability. It is also to do so in such a way that record-keeping is clear and transparent, and if the need ever arises to justify tax deductions to the Internal Revenue Service or to California’s franchise tax board, we are in a good position to do so. We also strive to make taxes as easy and painless as possible for both corporations or individuals.

Tips to Choosing the Best Tax Service for You

As we approach the 2016 tax deadlines, we are receiving more and more inquiries from San Francisco individuals who are looking for the best CPA firm or best tax service. Quite frankly, we have many clients who are pleased, and word-of-mouth is, of course, the best type of advertising. That said, what might be some tips to select the best tax service in San Francisco for an individual.

First, we would recommend choosing a CPA or accountant who has a breadth of experience and knowledge in doing individual tax returns. For any but the simplest of individual returns, it is often a good idea to go to a boutique firm. The big box tax services, while they can be efficient, are clearly set up to deal with simple tax returns. If you are a high income individual, or a small business owner, we would recommend that you not choose a big box tax service, but rather look for a local CPA or accountant in San Francisco with experience doing those types of individual returns.

Best Tax Service in San Francisco, CASecond, we would recommend that you not go for the cheapest service. We are not the cheapest tax service in San Francisco, nor do we want to be. Cheapest, when it comes to taxes, can mean missing valuable tax minimization opportunities, or it can mean taking shortcuts inadvertently, that can cost much more in hassle and penalties should you be audited in the future.

Third, we would recommend that you choose wisely in terms of reviews and references. While we are big fans of social media, the reality is that those reviews are not always utterly reliable. A few unhappy campers can tilt reviews in a superficially negative direction, while other types of CPAs or accountants – unfortunately – may be overly aggressive in getting superficially positive reviews. So, while we support social media, we do advise that you be a critical reader. Similarly, a good tax service should be able to provide you with references, and those references should generally be positive.

Fourth and finally, we would recommend that you come in for a free consultation with more than one tax service. While you may not be competent to judge the skill level of a tax accountant in the San Francisco Bay area, your gut instinct will probably be a good guide, especially in terms of whether you feel that a given tax accountant will be able to mesh with your own personality and needs. We are happy to do consultations with potential clients, pursuant to the availability of our schedules and our own focus on high income individuals, and small business owners.

Conclusion: Like Marriage, No One Tax Service is the Perfect Choice for Everyone

The choice of the best tax service in San Francisco, in some, is not one size fits all. Similarly to getting married, what will work for one person will not work for another. If, in the marriage game, dating is a can to trying before buying, in the game of choosing the best San Francisco tax service, the steps above are similar to help you try before committing to a tax service.