Friends, I have learned an interesting thing. As you may remember, I have tried to hire an accountant to do our taxes in the past. However, the details of military life were beyond that particular practitioner. Thankfully, I’ve finally found an accountant that actually understands the rules and different situations of military life. And let me tell you, it is awesome.
The problem is: how do you find an accountant who understands your situation? Hint: look for spouses at your installation. You’d be surprised how many accountants you can find. Guess what? If they live with you, they probably understand the situations in your taxes. Rental properties, combat-zone tax exemptions, foreign earned income exclusions? If they live where you do, they probably understand the tax issues that you face.
Obviously, location doesn’t make an expert accountant. A few questions about your relevant situation will help, too. Ask a potential accountant about the top three issues that concern you, and see how they respond. If you don’t think their answer sounds smart, don’t use them. Note that I didn’t say they should agree with you, because sometimes we non-tax folks get confused ideas about taxes. Look for someone who is willing to explain the questions you have. Even if you are charged for it, that is money well spent. Education in tax law is never a bad investment.
Find the money in your budget to get professional help with your tax situation. It will help with your current tax returns, and it will help you make better tax decisions in the future. It will benefit you in lower taxes and lower stress. Search out a good tax advisor and take advantage of their knowledge.