How to Find and Use Expert Tax Advice

December 3, 2023  | By Erik Lincoln

Getting expert tax advice from a tax professional is crucial for individuals and businesses to navigate the complex world of taxes efficiently and legally. Whether you’re a seasoned business owner, a new entrepreneur, or an individual looking to optimize your tax returns, understanding how to find and utilize expert tax advice is essential. This article offers insights into how to find it and how to make the most of it.

Finding the Right Tax Advisor

  1. Credentials Matter: Look for a tax professional who attended good schools (e.g., undergraduate, graduate, and law school), has significant experience at well-recognized accounting and/or law firms (generally the larger firms), and has the credentials that go along with their profession (e.g., CPA license for accounting professionals and law license for attorneys). These types of tax attorneys and CPAs have the education, experience, and certification to offer reliable tax advice.
  2. Specialization is Key: Tax laws vary across different industries and personal situations. Find a tax expert who specializes in the specific area of tax that is relevant to your needs, such as international taxation, partnership taxation, or estate planning.
  3. Referrals and Reviews: Ask for referrals from trusted sources like colleagues, friends, or financial advisors.
  4. Check for Disciplinary Actions: Ensure that the tax professional you’re considering hasn’t been subject to disciplinary action. This information is often available through state boards of accountancy or the state bar for attorneys.
  5. Interview Potential Advisors: Have a conversation with potential advisors. Discuss their experience, approach to tax planning, and how they stay updated with tax laws.

Utilizing Tax Advice Effectively

  1. Be Organized: Keep your financial records organized. This helps your tax advisor provide accurate and efficient advice.
  2. Communicate Clearly: Be transparent about your financial situation, goals, and concerns. Clear communication enables your advisor to tailor their advice to your specific needs.
  3. Understand Their Recommendations: Don’t hesitate to ask questions about the recommendations made by your tax advisor. Understanding the rationale behind their advice is crucial.
  4. Implement Advice Timely: Implement the advice you receive promptly to reap the full benefits, especially when it comes to tax-saving strategies.
  5. Regular Check-ins: Tax situations can change with life events like marriage, starting a business, or retirement. Regular check-ins with your tax advisor ensure that your tax strategies remain effective and relevant.

Avoiding Common Pitfalls

  1. Don’t Procrastinate: Waiting until the last minute to seek tax advice can lead to rushed decisions and missed opportunities.
  2. Avoid One-Size-Fits-All Advice: What works for one person or business may not be suitable for another. Tailored advice is essential.
  3. Beware of Too-Good-to-Be-True Promises: Be cautious of advisors who promise unusually large refunds or guarantee specific outcomes without assessing your situation.
  4. Understand the Costs: Know how your tax advisor charges for their services—whether it’s a flat fee, hourly rate, or a percentage of your refund.


Navigating the complexities of tax laws and regulations is a daunting task for most. However, with the right expert tax advice from your tax lawyer or CPA, you can ensure compliance, optimize your tax situation, and make informed financial decisions. Remember, the key to successful tax planning is to find a knowledgeable, experienced advisor and maintain open and regular communication with them. By following the guidelines outlined above, you can make the most of expert tax advice, leading to a more secure and prosperous financial future.


Erik Lincoln is a founding member of Lincoln. In addition to being an attorney he is also a CPA. Erik has consistently been recognized as one of the top attorneys in North Carolina, by Business North Carolina.