Your primary focus should be on running your business and making it profitable. This may leave you little or no time to attend to tax matters. It may be cost effective to use the services of a tax professional to maintain your books and records, file your returns, and provide needed tax advice.
There are many different types of tax professionals to choose from. The particular type of counsel you seek depends in part on your needs and what you can afford to pay for the services provided. The types of tax professionals you can consult include:
- Certified public accountants (CPAs)
- Enrolled agents
- Tax attorneys
- Registered tax return preparers
Storefront tax return preparation services may provide assistance with filing your returns. They generally are not staffed to provide tax guidance.
Keep in mind that any information you disclose to an attorney is completely confidential under the attorney-client privilege. This privilege has been extended to other federally authorized tax practitioners (such as accountants) in civil tax matters. However, it does not apply to the following situations:
- Tax return preparation
- Criminal tax matters
- State tax matters (unless there is a special state-created accountant-client privilege)
- Matters involving other federal agencies (such as the Securities and Exchange Commission)
If there is anything you absolutely want to remain confidential, then you must use an attorney. The attorney may hire an accountant to perform accounting tasks ...