7 Questions to Ask When Hiring an International Tax Advisor

international tax advisor

According to statistics, 54% of people surveyed dread filing their taxes. 

Preparing and filing taxes isn’t most people’s idea of a good time. But it can be especially stressful if your affairs or business operations aren’t confined to the US. 

Are you trying to untangle international taxation laws on your own? International taxes can be highly complex, which is why you should always hire an international tax advisor for any type of tax preparation involving multiple jurisdictions. 

However, before you hire an international tax consultant, you need to ensure that they have the qualifications and experience necessary to advise you on international taxation. 

How do you make sure an international tax advisor is worth their fee? By asking the right questions.

Keep reading to find out 7 of the most important questions to ask an international tax consultant. 

1. What Jurisdictions Do You Specialize In?

An international tax advisor should have in-depth knowledge of overarching international taxes. But they should also have specialized knowledge of the specific tax laws in the jurisdictions you operate in.

Therefore, it’s always a good idea to ask a potential international tax consultant which jurisdictions they specialize in. The ideal international tax advisor will have an in-depth knowledge of tax laws, filing requirements, and deadlines. As well as any tax treaties between the jurisdictions you operate in.

2. Are You a CPA?

Another important thing to find out is whether or not a potential international tax advisor is a CPA. The most important qualification that an international tax consultant can hold is that of a CPA.

CPAs are more qualified, have more experience, and undergo additional exams. They have more in-depth knowledge of tax laws. CPAs also need to hold a license and are fiduciaries to their clients. In other words, they have a legal responsibility to act in your best interest, and on the behalf of you as their client.

It’s always a good idea to check whether a prospective international tax advisor is a registered, licensed CPA. Most reputable tax advisory firms will entrust your affairs with a CPA, as they are the most qualified to handle international tax planning matters. However, some firms that offer services to expats also employ less qualified consultants, such as IRS Enrolled Agents (EAs). 

3. Do You Offer Tax Planning Services?

If you want to optimize your tax strategy, you need to implement savvy tax planning. A good international tax consultant will be able to give you tax preparation advice that might be able to lighten your tax liability by ensuring that you’re claiming for everything you’re allowed to. However, the real tax savings come in when you can plan ahead and strategically manage your finances for the best outcome during tax season. 

Through informed tax planning, you can time income and expenditures to fall in advantageous periods and thereby lessen your tax burden. However, you will need an experienced tax advisor on your side to do this. 

Therefore, make it a point to ask any potential tax consultants whether they will create a tax plan for the upcoming financial periods. 

4. Do You Also Offer Estate Planning Advice?

Another thing to think about when hiring an international tax advisor is estate planning. Statistics show that 68% of Americans don’t have a will.

One of the reasons why many people don’t carry out estate planning is because most of us avoid thinking about our own mortality. This is understandable, but it can make things complicated—especially if you own assets in multiple jurisdictions. 

Should something happen to you, your loved ones might be left in a difficult situation. Best case scenario, your assets might not pass on as you would have decreed. Worst case scenario, some of your assets might be claimed by overseas governments. 

To avoid this, ask your potential international tax advisor if they also offer international estate planning services. 

5. What Communication Frequency Can I Expect?

When choosing an international tax advisor you also need to clarify what amount of communication you can expect from them. Do you want to be able to get in contact at any time? If you need your tax consultant’s guidance throughout the tax filing process, make this clear to them. 

The last thing you want is to hire an international tax consultant to help you, only to find that you can’t get hold of them when you urgently need advice. 

6. What Do You Require From Me?

Besides getting clear on communication frequency, you might also want to clarify exactly what a potential international tax advisor will require from you. All tax advisors will require certain documents, but some are prepared to do more heavy lifting than others. 

For instance, here at International Tax Consultants, we always aim to solve your tax problems with minimal effort on your end. We will make sure we do everything in our power to make the tax filing or resolution process as seamless and non-time-consuming for you as possible. 

7. Have You Worked With Similar Clients?

You might also want to ask, have they worked with similar clients whose situations resemble your own? If an international tax consultant has experience with clients with similar needs, they’ll be able to tell you how they helped these clients resolve their tax issues.

They might also be able to clearly outline how they helped similar clients create a comprehensive tax planning strategy. 

Are You Looking for an International Tax Advisor You Can Trust?

If you’re in the process of finding an international tax advisor, don’t feel like you can’t ask questions. It’s important to get clear on qualifications, experience, and jurisdiction expertise. You should also find out what communication frequency to expect, and whether a potential service offers comprehensive tax planning and estate planning. 

Are you looking for an international tax advisor service you can trust to get the job done? If so, we’re here to help. 

We don’t just offer tax advice. Our tax resolution specialists are here to evaluate what the IRS needs from you and work to solve your tax problems with minimal effort from you. We work with the IRS so you don’t have to, minimizing stress and hassle on your part. 

Contact us today with your tax-related questions for a free, no-obligation quote. 

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