It’s tax time! Most of us do not think about this as a fun time of year, but like many things in life you can take steps to mitigate the pain and make it as easy and as pleasant as possible. No one likes to pay taxes, and certainly few people like to figure out taxes – although of course we do –, and in this blog post we want to give you some tips and tricks to selecting the best tax service for you.

Choosing the Best Tax Service not in San Francisco but For You

Before we begin, a conceptual point. There really is no such thing as the best San Francisco tax service – because taxes are complicated, and each individual or business is unique. What the really is is the best tax service for you, and sort of like a relationship you are looking for a synergy between you and your tax service provider. Our goal is to be the best tax service not in general but in particular: to be the best tax service for each and every one of our clients, reflecting their unique situations and unique needs.

Best San Francisco Tax ServiceThat said, here are some steps to selecting the best tax service for you, geared of course toward the San Francisco Bay Area.

First, think about reviews and referrals. We are fortunate to live in the era of the Internet, and you can certainly check out reviews on local listing services like yelp or Google, and of course you can also ask your friends and family for their own referrals to a tax service. There are also professional organizations which can help you create a short list.

Second, think about a free consultation. Most tax services that are worth their salt will give you at least a free phone interview, and some for a nominal fee will give you a free initial analysis. You’re looking for a good match, someone who is friendly and will try to understand your situation, and of course someone who is an expert. Be sure to ask about their credentials, including how long they have been in practice as well as their professional license status.

Third, watch for warning signs. A warning sign might be something like a significant number of bad reviews on yelp, or a cheesy approach to taxes such as the tax provider implying that they can cheat the IRS. An honest tax provider never says that they can cheat the government, but rather explains that their goal is to minimize your taxes within the limits of the law. Take about tax preparation as a game, with rules, and the reason you are going to a tax service is to have expert advice about those rules, into win the game – but within the constraints of the rules. You don’t want someone who will cheat, as this will come back to bite you!

In sum, choosing the ‘best’ tax service is a bit like choosing the best ‘mate.’ First you should date a bit to find out if you are compatible, and then get married. Choose wisely and you’ll have a long and profitable relationship.