This year, the tax deadline for individual taxes is not April 15, 2018, but rather April 17, 2018. But don’t let those two days fool you! The two days occur because April 15 is a Sunday, and April 16 is a holiday in the District of Columbia. Because of the vagaries of the United States tax code, when that happens, the tax deadline is postponed by a couple days. However, if you need to file your taxes, you have no time to waste. Most of our high income clients here in the city of San Francisco, obviously do not do their own taxes. It is very difficult to file your own taxes when you have a significant income, and or you have income from different sources such as stock options for overseas businesses. If you are a high income person, or you have entanglements with businesses, or you have international tax exposure, how should you go about choosing the best tax preparation service in San Francisco? Here are some points of advice.

Individual Tax Preparation

Photo credit: Derek Giovanni Photography via / CC BY-ND

First, you get what you pay for. Many of the big-box tax preparation services have flashy commercials and flashy offices in downtown San Francisco. Despite all the money that they spend on advertising, they may seem cheaper at first glance. However, the big-box tax preparation services really focus, first and foremost on W-2 income earners. They do not pay their preparers very well, nor are these preparers very well experienced. That’s not a problem if you have a simple tax return. It is, however, a problem if the taxes to be prepared are complicated. To get the kind of quality tax advice you need, you’ll need to pay more than at a big-box tax preparation service. You get what you pay for.

Second, in choosing the best tax service for individuals in San Francisco, think of the long game. It’s not so much like dating; it is more like getting married. We like to work with our clients year in and year out. In this way, we get to know their situation, and we can grow with them. We have many individuals coming to us in their 20s, when they do not have children and they do not yet have really high incomes. They may just be working at a San Francisco startup and receiving stock options. But they are going to grow, and they are going to grow up. Many of them will marry and have children, thus complicating their tax returns. Many of them will change jobs, and exercise their stock options, thus complicating their tax returns. And many of them will start their own businesses, again, complicating their tax returns. You want a tax preparation service that cares about you, in good years and in bad, and can grow with you as your needs change. So as you look to select the best tax service for individuals, think long term.

Third, choose a tax service that has the expertise that you need. We do not focus on just one type of tax return. We are not a cookie-cutter tax service that only does taxes on a high-volume way for individuals with W-2 incomes. Nor are we a service that only deals with business tax returns. Nor are we a service that only deals with international tax returns. Although we are a boutique CPA firm, we have many employees and a depth of experience across a diversity of tax needs. Thus, when selecting the best tax preparation service in San Francisco, interview the service and make sure that they have the depth of experience that you need to have your taxes prepared in a proper fashion.

Finally, choose a tax service that will meet with you for an initial consultation. Just as you date, before you get married, you want to go on a date with your tax service. In just a few minutes, such as a 30 minute meeting, you can get a sense of whether we will be a good tax service for your needs, or whether it’s not a love connection. Either way is okay with us. We want you to find the best tax preparation service in San Francisco for you. There is no one single best tax preparation service; rather there is a methodology to selecting the best tax service for you and your needs. Call us today so we can have that initial consultation and initial opportunity. Thank you.