One of my favorite tax writers, Kelly Phillips Erb, Forbes Contributor also known as “The Tax Girl” thinks it’s a good time to take stock of your tax professional and I couldn’t agree more. In a recent Forbes post titled, “8 Signs that it’s Time to Get a New Tax Professional” Kelly provides simple guidelines to determine if your current tax professional is a good fit for you.

Here are her top signs that it might be time to get a new tax professional. Our New England CPA firm would be happy to provide a complimentary consultation if you are looking for a tax and accounting support in the New England area. Thank you Kelly for your tips!

Signs That You Need a New Tax Professional:

Your tax preparer is not prepared. The benefit of using the same tax professional every year is that they have a reasonable grasp of you, your financials, your tax history, and your goals…at least they should! Phillips Erb believes when your tax pro is consistently not prepared to have a meeting or a call, consider finding someone who will be.

Your tax professional does not have a PTIN. As Phillips Erb points out, the law states that anyone who prepares or assists in preparing federal tax returns for compensation must have a valid PTIN before preparing any returns. Ask your preparer for theirs, if they do not have one, it’s time to seek a tax professional who does.

Your tax professional pressures you to be overly aggressive. It’s perfectly acceptable for your tax professional to make honest suggestions to help lower your overall tax bill. However, practices such as claiming dependents that aren’t yours, deductions that you aren’t entitled to or credits that you’re not eligible for suggests is treading into dangerous territory where the IRS is concerned. If faced with this scenario, take your accounting business elsewhere immediately.

Your tax professional doesn’t know the rules. While it may be highly unlikely your tax professional knows every tax code rule and regulation, they should be familiar with the basics. Phillips Erb recommends that if your tax professional is struggling to answer your questions or interpret correspondence from the IRS, then it time to find someone else.

Your tax professional doesn’t quickly return phone calls or emails. It’s not fair to demand immediate service 24 hours a day. However, your tax professional should be able to respond to you requests within a reasonable amount of time. If you are waiting days for that return call, Phillips Erb believes you should consider finding someone who responds more quickly.

Your tax professional doesn’t play well with your other financial advisors/team. This team may also include your attorney, financial advisors or banker. These professionals might need to meet or correspond on your behalf from time to time. If your tax professional is not willing it’s probably time to say goodbye.

Your tax professional can’t explain why the cost of services is always changing. Cost increases are not uncommon but if prices are volatile, Phillips Erb suggests it’s time to ask questions. She also recommends you get your pricing schedule in writing and if your tax professional isn’t willing to speak to you about the matter, it’s time to move on.

Your tax professional is under indictment. While people are innocent until proven guilty, Phillips Erb suggests that if you have any concerns about your tax professional’s ability to do his job or know they are in hot water with the law, run far, far away.

Most tax professionals and tax preparers are honest, decent people. Decent or not, the IRS holds you responsible for your tax return. Make sure your tax professional is top notch! Team up with the most capable tax professional that suits your needs and keep the IRS at bay.

Our accounting team and tax resolution experts are in Maine. We serve individuals and businesses throughout New England.

If you need support from an expert tax preparer, give us a call at (855) 479-2400. We are here to help.