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How to Find a Good CPA to Do Your Taxes

Most people are capable of doing their own taxes. Almost 90% of individual tax returns were filed through the electronic system. According to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS), these are normally done by tax preparers. Regardless of that statistic, many people find filing their returns quite tedious and time-consuming. (1)

So, if you hate doing your taxes or have a complicated financial life, hiring an expert to work out your taxes is a wise decision.

A certified public accountant (CPA) has the skills, training and knowledge to accurately calculate your returns and submit them within a short time frame. Hiring their services can take the frustrations off your shoulders.

And. for some industries like HVAC, hiring a specialized CPA and accounting firm will come with the added benefits of working with someone who knows exactly how to navigate the intricacies of tax law for that specific industry.

However, giving the job to the wrong person could harm you more than good. With that in mind, here are some tips for finding a good CPA to do your tax returns.

The Path to Finding a Good CPA

If you are looking for a good CPA, follow these steps:

1. Ask around

Word of mouth is usually the best way to find out whether a company will meet your needs. We’ve all had good and bad experiences with companies. More often than not, we are willing to share it with those around us.

So, when searching for a provider, the first step is always to ask your family, friends or co-workers. It can be difficult to pinpoint a professional that meets your needs. However, by inquiring from those closest to you, it’s possible to know what to expect from each candidate. Let your friends tell who does their taxes and whether they had a positive experience. 

It’s worth noting that most CPAs specialize in specific fields. So, it would be wise to ask people in your industry. For instance, if you’re an engineer, you’d want to ask other engineers about their tax preparers and the quality of their services. But don’t settle for the first name you come across, no matter how good they seem. 

Compile as many options as possible before you start analyzing each one. If the names you’ve collected from your friends and family aren’t enough, you can also search the IRS database. Here you’ll find a list of professional tax preparers who have not only been registered but also have completed the Annual Filing Season Program. Hiring such CPAs will ensure that you avoid any IRS audit red flags.

Related Content: Should I Do My Own Taxes? Here is How to Know

2. Assess your options

After you have asked around, the next step is to assess all the candidates. You will want to narrow your list down so that you can select the best professional.

What will you use in this assessment process? The first factor to consider is the legitimacy of their credentials. Of course, this might not be necessary if you picked the name from the IRS directory. 

However, names collected from friends, family, co-workers, or social media channels should be verified. You can check official online databases holding information about registered and verified CPAs. This step allows you to weed out any tax preparer that doesn’t have the necessary credentials to file your tax returns and only remain with the qualified ones. (2) 

You can also read online reviews to know what other clients are saying about the services of these professionals. Once you’ve learned enough about them, you can invite those on your list for short interviews. Make sure you ask important questions about your needs during these meetings so that you can know whether the CPA can handle the tasks ahead. (3)

Related Content: How to Pass the CPA Exam on the First Try

3. Hire a CPA of Your Choice

Once you’ve gone through all these steps, you can confidently make your final decision based on what you’ve learned about each candidate. The two main factors you should consider here are the quality of services and the total fees charged. You’d want someone that offers top-notch services but is also within your budget. 

Remember, affordable doesn’t necessarily mean low-quality services. The same applies to those who charge higher. Consider the online reviews and information gathered from your friends in this decision-making process, which will land you one with the best CPA skills.


Many tax preparers claim to offer the best services. How to find one and be comfortable with them is the key. As we’ve outlines, before choosing any professional CPA, do thorough research. The best place to start is by asking your friends and family for ideas. Let them tell you about any CPA they have in mind, preferably someone they’ve worked with before.  

Search the IRS directory to verify those names and also collect more candidates registered in the system. Of course, not all the people on your list are your best bet. So, you’ll need to eliminate some of them by checking online reviews and inviting them for one-on-one interviews. As you decide who will file your tax returns, make sure you choose someone who offers high-quality services at an affordable price.  

Leave a Comment or Answer a Question Below: Do you use a CPA? If so, how did you go about finding him or her? How has your CPA helped you? What other things should you consider when looking for a good CPA? 


  1. “Returns Filed Taxes Collected and Refunds Issued”, Source: https://www.irs.gov/statistics/returns-filed-taxes-collected-and-refunds-issued
  2. “Congress May Change How Tax Preparers Are Regulated: Why That Matters.”, Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/25/your-tax-preparer-may-not-be-regulated-some-want-congress-to-fix-that.html
  3. Red Flags: How To Know When Your CPA Isn’t Really Working For You.”, Source: https://www.forbes.com/sites/financialfinesse/2012/11/08/red-flags-how-to-know-when-your-cpa-isnt-really-working-for-you/
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