Are you wondering if you need a CPA? You’ve come to the right place — let’s see if you need some additional help when it comes to your small business or personal taxes.

Taxes can be confusing, and if you layer on owning a business or multiple properties, it can be downright overwhelming. Many people leverage the help of a CPA to better understand their taxes, but how do you know when you need a CPA?


First, what exactly is a CPA?

A CPA is a certified professional accountant. He or she has completed the educational and experience requirements as well as sat for a board designation of a certified public accountant. This tax professional has the expertise and in-depth knowledge of tax strategies in order to help you better manage your tax liabilities.


Who needs a CPA?

If you have a complex tax situation, you may benefit from the services of a CPA. For example, if you’re starting a business, a current business owner, or selling your business, you may be able to take advantage of tax strategies through the year and have a CPA actually file your tax returns on your behalf. Or perhaps you own multiple residences, rental properties, or real estate and want a tax professional to look for the most adoptions in credits for your specific situation.

How do you find a CPA?

If you’re interested in hiring a CPA, the best place to start your search is within your network. Ask your friends or colleagues for a referral or introduction to a tax professional that might potentially have the skillset or knowledge of serving similar clients. For example, if you own a retail business, your unique tax situation might differ from someone who has inherited an estate. Looking for a CPA that specializes in clients that have similar challenges to you can help you narrow down your search for an expert.

If you don’t have a personal recommendation, you can take your search to the internet and look for a CPA in your area. It’s important to meet a few potential tax professionals in order to find someone you trust and can be open, honest, and transparent with. And the same holds true for a CPA that you might have an existing relationship with — if you feel that you’re no longer a match or want to look for a different CPA, you shouldn’t feel tied to one. This relationship should have a strong foundation since one of the primary roles of a CPA is to explain all the complexities of tax law to you in a way that you understand. 


How much does it cost to hire a CPA?

Like most professional services, the cost to work with a CPA can widely vary depending on the level of consultation necessary. According to Investopedia, the average fee for a tax professional can range from roughly $175-$450. While tax software might seem like a more cost effective way to file your taxes, take a look at the bigger picture — including all of your businesses, investments, and properties — and deduce whether or not you need a more strategic approach that only a seasoned tax professional, like a CPA, can deliver.


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Financial advice for real people, by real people. You shouldn't need a degree to understand your money. Join Head of Education, Brittney Castro and Altruist mentors as they break down financial tips and strategies in a real way to help you finally understand how to achieve your financial goals faster.