When dealing with life’s only two certainties, it’s hard to tell which is more painful: death or taxes. Death is painful no matter what. But fortunately, there are ways to actually minimize the misery involved with dealing with Uncle Sam. As a real estate investor, you already know how important it is to maintain adequate tax records.
Fortunately, you do not have to go it alone with only Quickbooks and TurboTax by your side. There are professionals who deal with this all day long that you can outsource your tax issues to while you focus on your investments. Here are the top three tax professionals you should know about, and what they can do to ease your pain come Tax Season.
1. Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Accountants are a special breed of people. They commit their working lives to running numbers, and a good CPA will know the Tax Code inside and out. Accountants must be accredited by the state, take continuing education courses annually, and pass a difficult exam to verify their credentials. While many CPAs are knowledgeable about taxes because of their education, smart investors pick an accountant who specializes in tax issues. You want someone who deals with Uncle Sam and his rules on a daily basis to worry about your books so you don’t have to. Our firm partners with such CPAs for this exact purpose.
2. Enrolled Agent
An Enrolled Agent (EA) is a professional who must pass a rigorous exam exclusively about IRS regulations and tax matters. Once they have passed this notoriously exam, they hold the distinction of being licensed to practice in every state in the Union. These professionals are also the only people who can represent you in IRS hearings without any type of limitations.
We promise this isn’t just our bias because we are attorneys ourselves. Here’s a fact you may not know about being a practicing attorney: becoming an attorney is hard. We must not only attend law school, pass the State Bar, but also participate in continuing education so that we are up to date on state and federal laws. This includes tax matters.
The value of an attorney is in their knowledge and ability to advocate for you. In fact, any attorney can represent you for tax purposes. That said, you are best off selecting an attorney who specializes or has experience in tax law. Our tax professionals at Royal Legal Solutions are licensed attorneys who routinely assist investors like you with filing appropriately, understanding your tax obligations, and ensuring compliance with IRS regulations. Regardless of who you pick, a good lawyer is worth their weight in platinum. We can save your backside in a dispute with the IRS, but more importantly, we can prevent this situation from happening in the first place.
Bottom Line: The Pros Make Your Life Easier
You may use any of these professionals to assist you in preparing your taxes, if only to relieve the stress involved. Do your research on any person you add to your real estate dream team to verify their qualifications. This little bit of proactivity will ensure you are better protected as a real estate investor.